Back to school vaccines: How many students were prepared?
SARASOTA - Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County Immunization Program Manager Donna Keith says as of Tuesday morning, the back to school craze has calmed down.
"Clinic flow has diminished significantly in regards to the kids that need vaccinations, and also our request for records," Keith said.
The North Port and Sarasota clinics extended their hours last Wednesday and Thursday, and Keith says people certainly took advantage.
"We were supposed to close at seven, but we didn't actually get out of here till eight because we had people coming in one on top of the other," Keith said.
She estimates the Thursday before school started, they saw 175 students.
"..which is a lot because each of the kids usually gets three or four shots," Keith said, but as she expected, she still saw several students at the health department on the first day of school. She estimates around 150 students were sent home but says that hasn't changed much since last year. What has changed, she says, is the number of exemptions.
"For the calendar year of 2018, we gave 900 exemptions, which is the highest I've done since I've been here," Keith said.
That's compared to 380 so far this year. She thinks that could be a result of parents being more informed.
"I think that as the vaccine rates drop, we're gonna see more vaccine preventable diseases, so I think people are becoming a little more aware of that," Keith said.
Now that school is back in session Keith says the department of health is transitioning back into seeing their typical clients, ranging from babies to adults.