By JOSH FANNAKIS | 03/05/2018 05:00:00ZWhile there’s been a surge in the number of students opting out of vaccinations this year, the fear is still palpable for students.
While some of the concerns may be overblown, according to the CDC, more than two-thirds of those who have had their vaccinations said they felt more comfortable with their healthcare providers if they could get vaccines for free.
“I don’t want to take any chances.
I want to get vaccinated,” said Hannah Williams, a 17-year-old from Dallas.
“It’s a great opportunity to have some fun and learn.”
The most recent vaccine campaign started in December, and according to CDC data, about 10 percent of US students are currently enrolled in the program.
The CDC and state vaccine makers have been trying to make sure students are getting vaccinated in the best way possible.
The CDC says that while it’s not uncommon for schools to provide vaccinations for free, it’s highly unusual for schools that don’t offer them to charge for them.
“It’s always a good idea for students to make it known they need vaccines,” said Dr. Stephanie M. Dannen, a health sciences professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
“And if they’re having problems getting vaccinated, it can be helpful to ask about it and to be transparent with parents.”
For some students, however, the idea of paying to get their vaccinations doesn’t make sense.
“We’re definitely trying to balance the benefits of vaccines and the risks of being on the vaccination schedule, so there are a few things that I do not want to do,” said 17- and 18-year old Emily Gentry, who is enrolled in Dallas’ Health Science Program.
“If you are doing it for your own personal use, and you feel like you need to pay, that’s fine,” said Gentry.
“If you have kids that you’re thinking of getting, that could also be a problem.”
The CDC is also looking at how the vaccine schedule is being handled across the country.
Currently, the CDC recommends that all students have two doses of a vaccine.
If they need more than one, it could affect how much of the vaccine is available.
“What is important is that the doses are given to all students at the same time,” said Dann.
“They’re given as a single shot and then when they’re at home, they’re given the second shot.”
Students who are worried about not getting their shots should be sure to ask their healthcare provider or school nurse for a free vaccine, she said.
The school system in Dallas has made a point of letting parents know they need to be sure their children are getting vaccinations, so parents have been getting on board with the campaign.
“There’s been no issue with our vaccines being available for free for students, and we have a number of parents who are actively involved in the campaign,” said Williams.
“Parents are very excited about having the vaccine and we want to make them feel confident in the vaccine, and that’s something that’s really important.”
While the CDC is confident in their efforts, some schools are finding that they are running into issues with the vaccines being administered.
In the past two months, the Texas Department of Public Health has been getting reports of students not being able to get a vaccine at all, even after being given a free shot.
One student in Dallas was told he could not get his vaccinations even though he had been in the system for two weeks.
“We are aware of this issue and have been working with the school district to resolve it,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services.
The spokesperson also noted that some schools have had to close classes due to the issue.
In some cases, the students may have been told they could not go to classes because of a flu-like illness.