TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Interest in the Tippecanoe County Health Department's back-to-school vaccine clinic is down, despite a decline in the number of children staying up to date on their shots.
"We need to make sure that everyone is back on schedule and that's a big push with the state for local health departments," said Tippecanoe County Health Department Executive Assistant Amanda Balser.
Balser said routine vaccinations went down in 2020, and now they're trying to make sure all children are up to date with their shots before school starts.
"All of those diseases that we normally, routinely vaccinate for could make a comeback if you're not getting your child immunized," Balser said.
That's why the health department is holding a back-to-school vaccine clinic.
It's focused on making sure children get the required vaccines for Kindergarten, sixth and 12th grade, but there's been a drop in interest this year.
"We normally do an appointment every 10 minutes with our back-to-school clinics and right now we only have 20 appointments scheduled," she explained.
Balser said some kids fell behind on state-required vaccines due to the pandemic and said schools didn't penalize students for not having updated shots.
"We have safe vaccines that have been proven to be effective," said West Lafayette Intermediate School Nurse Beth Bangs. "I mean, meningitis. You don't want your kid getting meningitis."
Bangs is the nurse at West Lafayette Intermediate school, and she said there are consequences for not having your kids up to date.
"Our rule right now is 20 days after the beginning of school, if your child isn't vaccinated, they cannot attend school until they have a scheduled appointment verified," Bangs explained.
However, the consequences could be much more dangerous if your child isn't meeting the state requirements.
"You don't want to see a spike of something else besides COVID hit the schools," said Balser. "You have to protect your kids."
The clinic is Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the COVID vaccine clinic at 2577 Maple Point Drive in Lafayette.
Walk-ins are accepted, and those underinsured or without insurance will still be eligible for vaccines.