While picking out new backpacks and pencils for the upcoming school year, Grande Prairie parents are being reminded to add one more thing to the back to school checklist. Alberta Health Services wants to make sure that every child’s vaccines are up to date before returning to the classroom.
“In the summertime, people don’t necessarily have as close contact but as soon as the kids go back to school it’s a bunch of young kids all in the same room. If anybody’s got any of these diseases were trying to protect your kids from then there’s always a chance that your child could get it,” says Medical Officer of Health Dr. Albert de Villiers.
Alberta health services provides free vaccines for infants and children in Alberta. de Villiers recommends that those four and older receive two shots that he says protect people from a whole host of illnesses.
“The two shots basically protect against diphtheria and tetanus and whooping cough, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox. There’s a whole bunch of vaccines in those two shots so if you only get those two that will protect against a whole list of diseases.”
Grande Prairie Public Health is open from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for immunization appointments. To book an appointment with a nurse, call 780-513-7500.