"Over-Vaccination" Concerns With Back-To-School Shots

"Over-Vaccination" Concerns With Back-To-School Shots

Many Texoma parents are concerned about their kids getting too many vaccinations, in preparation to head back to school.

"Those concerns that parents have are just the number of vaccines, the cost of those vaccines and then the third thing is, 'Ok, are the vaccines safe?'" said Dr. Kenneth Sultemeier at the Clinics of North Texas.

Kids heading to pre-school or kindergarten need vaccinations for Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chicken Pox, Polio, Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis. The second round of shots needed for school is before 7th grade, when teens need a Meningitis, Pertussis and Tetanus shot.

Although it may sound like a lot, Dr. Sultemeier said all of the vaccines can be given in just two shots, at each grade level. He also added that the vaccinations are actually more effective when given together, so "over-vaccinating" is not a concern.

"Giving them together actually it does not overwhelm the immune system. It absolutely doesn't, and actually studies have shown that it actually enhances the response to the vaccine," said Dr. Sultemeier.

Healthcare Coordinator for the Wichita Falls Independent School District Debi Mills said while districts across the state require these vaccines, parents can get an exemption form if they really do not want their children to get some, or all, of the shots.

"You not only put your child at risk, and you may say, 'I'm willing to take that risk,' but...now the fact that your child has an illness that is contagious, you can now give that to classmates, and that's where the concern is," said Dr. Sultemeier.