August brings awareness to the importance of immunizations

While August is mainly thought of as the “back to school month,” health care professionals are using the month to reiterate the importance of getting vaccinated.

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) was first recognized in August of 2013 by the National Public Health Information Coalition and then coordinated with the Centers for Disease Control.

“It’s really important to get school-aged kids whether it’s K-12 or higher education –adults even –up-to-date on their vaccinations,” Heather Stafford, Student Health Services Director, said. “Vaccinations protect the whole entire community.” The Student Health Center offers a variety of different vaccinations, such as ones for COVID-19. 

For students getting vaccinated at the Student Health Center, the process is straightforward and easily accessible. 

“[Getting vaccinated helps] maintain a level of immunity so that it’s hard to catch rare illnesses that people haven’t had for a while because of vaccinations,” Stafford said. 

The CDC assessment tool can help determine what vaccinations you might need to update. The assessment tool is only for those 19 years of age and older. People of all ages can look at the recommended vaccinations per age group on the CDC website.

Walk-in appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8-5 p.m. at SHS. 

During a  walk-in appointment, patients will go through a screening to check for allergies related to components of the vaccines, among other health tests. 

Records will then be updated on a student’s MyShockers health immunization list, allowing students to be able to login at any time to access it. 

Insurance usually covers 100% of vaccines because of the Affordable Care Act. If the insurance doesn’t cover the total cost, students can pay the copay out of pocket or the bill can be put on their student account. 

If a student doesn’t have insurance, there are options such as going to the Sedgwick County Health Department which offers different programs for students without insurance. These programs can help students receive those vaccinations at a low cost.

“I just would encourage everybody to still consider getting their COVID vaccination series and boosters,” Stafford said. “Everyone’s eligible for their first booster right now… we offer those all day every day between 9 and 4.”

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