Medical preparations for kids returning to school next month

By Blake Schnitker on July 11 at 10:15am

Summer is almost halfway over, and it’s never too early to start back-to-school preparations.

With the school year starting back up in next month, it’s important for parents to have their child immunized before returning to the classroom.

Jackie Berringer with the Morgan County Health Department says when it comes to immunizations, the earlier the better.

“It is a big rush. Doctors have gone to electronic medical records because we have to by federal law, so we are electronic now too. To be honest with you, we have to go through two electronic programs before we even draw up those vaccines, so come early,” says Berringer.

Berringer breaks down which age groups of children need to be immunized prior to the school year.

“If you have a child that is going into Pre-K or Kindergarten, sixth grade or ninth grade, you need to be thinking about school physicals, and in many of those grades, you might need to be thinking about immunizations. We can’t forget the twelfth graders, because a couple of years ago, they added that twelfth graders may need a second Meningitis shot so that they’re ready to go to college. So you need to start early, it’s not easy,” says Berringer.

She explains that the process has been simplified for a few reasons.

“We have the availability at the health department and even more availability now because we do take insurances because of our new partner, which is SIU Family Health. Through them, we are able to get school physicals back on our map. So we can take insurances, Medicaid, or for a special price of $45 if your child is a school-aged child, we can provide a school physical,” Berringer says.

Berringer says immunizations can be conducted by personal physicians, or through the Morgan County Health Department.

The health department is located at 345 West State Street. To schedule an appointment at the health department, call 217-245-5111.