Texas childhood immunization rate hits 5-year high

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Texas childhood immunization rates have hit a five-year high. The 19% jump ranks Texas at number 22 in the country, the highest ranking the state has ever reached. A convenience factor is attributed to the improvement. Nurses' offices in most schools are now equipped with refrigerators. Inside are all the state required vaccines children must have to go to school. When a child's shot record shows a vaccine missing a call is placed permission is gained from the parent to administer the necessary vaccination right then and there, totally free of charge.

Nacogdoches Independent School District nurse Brenda Whitman said,  " Our district began the Texas vaccine for children program three years ago and it doesn't matter how many shots they need, they're all free at school. " Everything is provided by the state, except the 'frig. Whitman explained,  " All schools are offered this program and it's up to the district to decide if they want to be a part of it. It adds duties to the school nurse. "

Today hearing tests, not immunizations were administered. Yet there is definitely a link between the two. Clinical audiologist, Dr. Danielle Perry said,  " Back in the 1970's there was a big measles outbreak that caused many, many children to have hearing loss and that can easily be prevented if they children are vaccinated as they should. " However, some parents oppose to immunizations. Waivers can be obtained, but only after completing a lengthy process with the state health department. They are in the minority. Health care providers' efforts to work with families are paying off. More children are protected from dangerous diseases. This leads to a healthier community.