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Are your children up to date on shots?

Back-to-school season is here.

It's time for parents to gather school supplies and backpacks. It's also the perfect time to make sure your children are up to date on their vaccines.

Child care facilities, preschool programs, schools and colleges are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs and other factors such as interacting in crowded environments.

To celebrate the importance of immunizations for people of all ages, and make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need as they go back to school, Todd County Health and Human Services is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month.

Todd County Health and Human Services will be holding immunization clinics on Tuesday, August 7 and Monday, August 27 from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. There will also be a late afternoon and early evening clinic held on Wednesday, August 29, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

"Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC's immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children from serious diseases," said Samantha Cofell, nursing supervisor for Todd County Health and Human Services. "If you haven't done so already, now is the time to check with your child's doctor to find out what vaccines your child needs."

Vaccines protect against a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for diseases and can also spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community — including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions.

Talk to your child's doctor to find out which vaccines are recommended and required for them before going back to school.

Parents can find out more about the recommended vaccines at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents or call Todd County Health and Human Services at 320-732-4500 for more information.

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