TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - With back-to-school right around the corner, now is the time to make plans for a safe and healthy start to the new school year.
One of the first steps is to make sure students are vaccinated before the school year begins.
"Get your kids vaccinated. It is really important especially if you want them to go to school, but more importantly, you want them to stay healthy," said Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski.
The Toledo Lucas County Health Department is encouraging parents to get out and get their kids vaccinated by offering a program called "Shots for Tots 'n Teens."
The program offers immunization shots to newborns all the way up to the age of 18.
There's a $21.25 administration fee per shot for those whose insurance does not cover any vaccines or for those without any insurance.
Patients are eligible to receive free vaccinations if they meet certain criteria.
The program's goal is to boost immunization rates for children in Lucas County by two percent every year until they reach 90 percent.
"Some people just think its about getting our kids into school and that's why I have to get them vaccinated. I take it a little bit differently, as in that is going to help prolong that child's life and save their life depending on what disease we're talking about," said Zgodzinski.
The required shots by the state of Ohio are listed below:
- Hepatitis B
- Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccines.
- Meningococcal (also 12th grade)
Students should start taking the HPV shot around 11 and 12 years of age. The Flu shot should be taken once a year.
More information about the program can be found here.