TAYLOR COUNTY—Now that things seem to have started to return to normal, the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department is shifting back to their usual summertime focuses, including back to school vaccinations.
To help ensure that students are ready to return to the classroom, the Health Department will be offering needed vaccinations, and has even decided to extend their hours to do so.
According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services, state law requires that students entering school for the first time, in grades kindergarten through twelfth, must show proof of immunization against certain viruses.
In addition to having to be vaccinated for Hepatitis B, youngsters entering preschool or kindergarten in public schools must roll up their sleeves to receive the DTAP/IPV and MMRV vaccinations.
The DTAP/IRV vaccine helps to protect children from contracting diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio, all life-threatening illnesses.
Meanwhile, the MMRV will help keep measles, mumps, rubella and varicella.
Both of these vaccinations will be available for youngers at the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department.
In addition, students entering into both seventh and twelfth grades will be required to have the meningococcal and tDAP vaccinations administered.
The meningococcal serum results in a decrease in meningitis and sepsis among populations where they are widely used, while the tDAP is booster to continue to help protect adolescence and adults against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, which should be administered every 10 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
And while it is not required for admission to school, the HPV vaccination is recommended for youths ages 11 and older, as a way to help prevent against certain forms of cancer.
All of the abovementioned vaccinations, along with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, will be administered by the friendly staff of the Grafton-Taylor Health Department, for any residents.
“The health department accepts any and all insurances and will also be providing these vaccinations for those residents who do not have insurance,” explained Grafton-Taylor County Health Department Threat Preparedness Coordinator.
According to Public Health Nurse LPN Nikki Underwood receiving the vaccinations is a simple step to ensuring a healthy start to the school year.
“Getting vaccinated is just a wise thing to do, to help keep children safer and help curb the spread of these specific illnesses within the school setting,” she explained. “And what better place to do so than your local health department? It’s like a one stop shop for all your vaccination needs.”
She voiced that a visit to the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department is both quick and easy, sharing that those wishing to receive the vaccinations will not have to schedule an appointment in advance.
“We are accepting walk-ins, and beginning next week, every Tuesday we will have extended hours to help assist residents who may not be able to make it to our office during regular business hours,” she noted. “We are able to administer vaccines quickly to get you in and out in no time.”
Those wishing to receive vaccines at the health department may do so Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. and then again from 1:00 p.m. until 3:45 p.m.
Additionally, on Tuesdays, the department will be accepting walk-ins as usual in the morning, but once returning from lunch, vaccinations will be administered from 1:00 p.m. until 7:45 p.m.
“We at the health department are always working to help ensure the safety of residents, and this is just another way we can do that,” Underwood shared. “We will even provide a printout for residents to take home with their shot records.”
According to Thorn, the health department will also begin to test for COVID-19 outside of the health department through their mobile testing unit. He revealed that appointments are not needed to undergo testing, however, residents will need to call the department beforehand.
For more information on either of these services, please contact the health department by phone at 304-265-1288.