YOUNGSTOWN Few kids turn out for shot clinic
Kindergarten pupils without required shots will be excluded from school.
By WILLIAM K. ALCORN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Only three prospective kindergarten pupils showed up to get free immunizations against childhood diseases at a special session set up by the city health department.
The free shots were made available to new city school pupils last Thursday at Choffin Career Center.
The small turnout Thursday, and at a similar clinic last February, has health officials wondering whether the children are receiving their shots elsewhere, or if other factors, such as transportation, prevented parents from getting their preschool children vaccinated.
New pupils are required by the state to have certain shots before they enter school, said Wayna Hightower, health department nursing director, at Monday morning's health board meeting. They include the Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus shot, the fourth polio shot and the second measles-mumps and rubella shot.
If the pupil's parents don't produce proof of the those shots, they children can be excluded from school.
Youngstown schools nurses will send parents several warning letters, which will also include a list of clinics where shots are available, and offers to help the parents with transportation, said Jill Zinger, nurse at Cleveland Elementary School.
Zinger said that only three out of 27 pupils whose records she has reviewed to date have the required shots. However, she said that once the letters are sent out compliance is nearly 100 percent.