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Toledo health officials urge parents to vaccinate children ahead of school year

A ProMedica pediatrician says there shouldn't be any fear associated with getting sicker if your child contracts COVID-19.

TOLEDO, Ohio — With school planned for the fall, health officials are asking parents to go ahead and take their children to be vaccinated. 

Toledo-Lucas County Health Department Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski made the announcement on Monday during a virtual health department conference. 

"We've been working with the local school systems for at least the last two months on reopening in the fall," Zgodzinski said. 

The commissioner calls those plans intricate and complex, but he says there's one item you can check off your list when it comes to your child's health. 

"Kids vaccinated going back to school is really important since we are going to have some sort of school in the next month and a half or so," Zgodzinski said. 

Pediatrician Eric Radar with ProMedica Physicians Perrysburg Pediatrics says now is the time to call and make an appointment before they fill up. 

"This is our busy well check season. So we have been for the past couple months as the lockdown had slowed down and we opened up to seeing more and more patients," Radar said. 

Additionally, it takes a little while for the vaccines to start working, and depending on your student's age, different ones are needed. 

"Kindergarten ones are tetanus and polio. And the MMR and chickenpox. Then you have your 7th graders. We usually start vaccinating them around 11 and 12 where they need their tetanus, booster, and meningitis vaccine. And then at 16 another meningitis," Radar said. 

WTOL 11 reached out to Perrysburg Schools and they say they have already notified parents. 

In an email, it added that students are required to have state-mandated vaccinations by the start of the school year. 

It's a notice health officials are echoing, especially now with Covid-19 and some fearful parents. 

"I'm afraid if I get a vaccine and then there's exposure to Covid, they're gonna get sicker. There really isn't any evidence that that's gonna be worse. And again our fear is these illnesses are still out there, the vaccinable ones and we don't want to see a spike in those," Radar said. 

"Want to make sure that again, the word gets out. Let's get vaccinated, let's get those kids vaccinated to go back to schools so we're not in a rush like we are every year," Zgodzinski added. 

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