LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Thousands of Clark County School District students will be going back to school without the required vaccinations. With the recent measles outbreaks across the country, 13 Action News is finding out if your child is safe in the classroom.
"The current vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks of measles and Hepatitis A are a reminder of how important it is to make sure our students are fully immunized before heading back to school, as disease can easily spread in the classroom environment," says Heidi Parker, the executive director of Immunize Nevada.
According to Immunize Nevada, Nevada has the 14th highest exemption rate in the country, with about 3% of students claiming medical or religious exemptions. That means, in a class size of 30, one student doesn't have the required vaccinations.
Right now, parents are still registering for school, but CCSD says the most up-to-date numbers show nearly 3,000 students are medically exempt, and up to 5,000 students have a religious exemptions for at least one vaccine.
However, parents shouldn't be worried. Immunize Nevada says their goal is herd immunity. That means, if 93-95% of people are vaccinated, the ones that aren't vaccinated are still protected by default.
"They are sheltered between those who have been vaccinated, so that they can't pick up the disease," says David Perez, with Immunize Nevada.
The good news for parents is that CCSD meets that herd immunity threshold. It's something experts at Immunize Nevada say is crucial to a student's health for back to school.
"There have been multiple outbreaks that have been going on, so making sure we have a high percentage of kids who are vaccinated in school will make sure we're keeping them protected against vaccine-preventable diseases," says Perez.
There is still time to get your child up-to-date on their vaccinations. The 2019-20 Clark County school year starts on August 12. Nevada law requires that kindergartners and new students be vaccinated for these immunizations, including DTAP and MMR. However, according to CCSD's website, the biggest change will be for middle schoolers who also have to be vaccinated for TDAP and Meningitis.
Community vaccine clinics will be held across southern Nevada, offering low-cost and reduced-cost vaccines, or free for qualifying families, throughout August.
The remaining events offering vaccines throughout southern Nevada are listed below.
- Give Kids A Boost - Southern Nevada Health District, August 10, 9am-1pm, 208 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107. Offering low-cost immunizations to qualifying families.
- Southern Nevada Health District Mobile Clinic - Clark County Library, August 21, 10am-1pm, 1401 E. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89119
Visit Nevada WebIZ to access your child's immunization records.
Need your child's immunization record? Immunize Nevada staff and volunteers are providing immunization record lookups at our Las Vegas and Reno offices. Stop by today! #Vax2School pic.twitter.com/fWo6cfZfYX— Immunize Nevada (@ImmunizeNV) August 7, 2019
The Health District offers back-to-school immunizations at its following locations.
- Main Public Health Center, 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Must arrive by 4 p.m. to receive services.)
- East Las Vegas PUblic Health Center, 570 N. Nellis Blvd., Suite D1, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Must arrive by 4 p.m. to receive services.)
- Southern Nevada Health District Henderson Clinic, 874 American Pacific Dr., Henderson, Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Closed daily 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
- Mesquite Public Health Center, 830 Hafen Lane, Mesquite, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. – noon and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
- Special Clinic: Friday, August 9, 8 a.m. – noon and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., By appointment only. Call (702) 759-1682.