With just a few weeks until the start of school, local health officials are reminding parents to ensure their children's immunizations are current.
Two new immunizations are required this year. Shots for Hepatitis B and varicella, commonly known as chicken pox, are required for fifth-graders and younger.
Immunizations are the best way to protect against disease, said Barbara Schnitker, director of nurses at Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department.
"It's very important because they protect against severe contagious diseases, and the diseases are transmitted by many other things" such as coughing and sneezing, she said.
Schnitker said parents should schedule appointments for immunizations with their physicians or at the health department. She said the health department does not turn away anyone without insurance.
Lawrence school children are required to have these immunizations:
¢ Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis
¢ Poliomyelitis (polio)
¢ Measles, mumps, rubella
¢ Hepatitis B
¢ Varicella (chicken pox)
The local heath department recommends these immunizations:
¢ Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
¢ Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV7)
¢ Hepatitis A
¢ Meningococcal (MCV4)
¢ Human papillomavirus (HPV)