New Immunization Laws for Idaho Public Schools

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Updated: 7/29/2011 6:39 pm

"Idaho has always been a little bit behind on the times on immunization requirements," says Nurse Manager at the Eastern Idaho Public Health District Amy Gamett.

That's why starting July 1 new laws have been enforced to prevent health outbreaks at all public schools in Idaho.

The new immunization laws basically verifies that all students receive their required vaccinations.

"So we are checking them not only as they initially enroll or as they change schools, but when they start the 7th grade we are rechecking everyone again," says District 93 Health and Safety Coordinator Guy Bliesner.

School district officials say they've been fortunate not to have major outbreaks, but minor cases have occurred in the past.

"We saw what that problem could look like, however with the flu problem we had 2 years ago, so we saw what the problem could look like if the disease was to spread," says Bliesner.

"We are seeing a lot of whooping coughs throughout the nation, we are also has some cases in Idaho," says Gamett.  "We are actually seeing some emergence of measles throughout the nation."

Public health officials say they expect less diseases this year now with the new law.

"We are seeing outbreaks in other states and some disease in ours too," says Gamett.  "So increasing those requirements for school aged children, daycare children we will see those diseases decrease."

Officials say immunization is vital to all well functioning classrooms.

"It's important for anyone, we have large numbers of children together and they are immunized against communicable diseases," he says.  "It helps us make certain that we are not spreading disease."

"The sooner you can get your immunizations looked at and make an appointment with your doctor's office or the health department probably the less wait and less stress," says Gamett.

Free immunization clinics will be available August 13th in both the Idaho Falls and Pocatello Public Health Districts.  For more information log on to http://www.sdhdidaho.org/ or www.phd7.idaho.gov for more information.

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