As parents continue to navigate what back to school looks like this year, one aspect of the ritual that hasn’t changed is making sure kids are up to date on their vaccines. Whether families choose in-person, hybrid or distance learning models for the fall 2020 school session, Nevada law requires immunizations for child care, school and university entry, with the exception of religious exemptions or a medical condition.
“Many regularly scheduled doctor visits were canceled or postponed because of COVID-19, which means many children and babies are behind on their vaccines as they get ready for a new school year,” said Heidi Parker, executive director of Immunize Nevada. “Parents can ask about COVID-19 protocols when they call.”
While all Nevada students must be fully vaccinated, there are specific requirements for students who are new to Nevada or entering kindergarten, seventh grade or universities. Parents can visit https://immunizenevada.org/back2school for a complete list of vaccine requirements. Immunization records can also be accessed for free at https://izrecord.nv.gov, or parents can ask their physician.
Because of COVID-19 safety requirements, back-to-school health fairs will be limited and will look different this year, with masks, social distancing and other precautions in place. It’s important for parents to reach out to their primary care providers as soon as possible to make arrangements to update their students’ vaccines.
“Those without a primary care provider can check immunizenevada.org/calendar regularly for options, since plans are always evolving,” Parker said. “We understand that not every family has access to insurance or is part of Nevada Check Up. Vaccines for Children is an option for those families.”
Vaccines for Children is a federally funded program that helps eligible families receive inexpensive or free vaccines, which are provided by the government and administered in a doctor’s office or clinic. Families can check eligibility at www.vfcnevada.org