Minneapolis is offering free vaccination to families before school starts.
One of the biggest parenting controversies that is occurring is whether or not children should be vaccinated. The vaccination debate sometimes gets very heated because every parent believes that they are choosing the right decision for their child. Parents who want to vaccinate believe that they are protecting their children from deadly diseases or sicknesses that could be harmful to their child. Parents who choose to not vaccinate their children believe that vaccines do more harm than good and they aren't necessary.
A school district in Minneapolis is trying to stop the spread of measles and infectious diseases by offering free vaccines right before school starts. Minneapolis city officials have partnered with NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center and Minneapolis Public Schools to offer free vaccines for children. Families are being told that they can go to the school districts headquarters between August 9 and September 4 to get their school required vaccinations for free. The city will be covering the entire cost and there is no insurance necessary.
“There are a number of outbreaks happening either regionally or nationally and those include pertussis, hepatitis A and measles,” said Catherine Harrison, the city’s senior public health specialist in emergency preparedness. “We wanted to put some extra focus on [vaccines] this year and try to make some improvements in those rates.” Harrison understands that many people cannot afford vaccinations and so this is a way for families to be able to get the vaccinations that their children need without thinking about the potential financial burden.
This is the first time in recent history that city officials are going to such great lengths to provide a service like this. Officials are urging parents to get their children vaccinated before the start of the school year in order to avoid any spreading of infectious diseases. Measles is a highly contagious illness spread by coughing, sneezing and close contact. It can cause pneumonia, brain damage, deafness, and even death. As of Aug. 1, more than 1,170 measles cases have been confirmed in 30 states across the nation — the biggest outbreak since 1992.
In Minneapolis, they try to get about 80% of the children from 2-3 years old vaccinated to provide herd immunity. However, the city falls short and they are at about 72% this year. They are hoping that with the free vaccination program they can improve their percentage and provide a safer environment for all of their residents. “We want to make sure we can do everything we can to prevent that from happening in the future,” said Dirk Tedmon, a spokesman for Minneapolis Public Schools.