Back to school vaccination requirements different for Washington and Idaho

LEWISTON, ID - Lewiston and Clarkston students head back to school soon and that means vaccinations for all age groups.

KLEW News learns more about the shots that professionals said make a big difference every year.

Vaccines are...never fun. But with school quickly approaching for area children, health professionals agree they're very necessary.

"It's important for the bulk of the population to be vaccinated that way it reduces the amount of people who are available to be infected with a certain disease," said Idaho Public Health Division Administrator, Michael Larson.

While vaccination requirements differ from state to state, and from each age group, both the Lewiston and Clarkston School Districts have an extensive list of back to school shots. The State of Idaho enacted a new rule for seventh graders in 2011, which Larson tells us is the biggest difference between the two states.

"It pretty much centers around the meningicocol or the meningitis vaccine," said Larson. "And it's just a little bit of a difference between the state and when it's recommended for that vaccine to be provided."

However there are some parents who choose not to vaccinate their children due to medical reasons or personal beliefs, and Clarkston School District Director of Health Services Donna Franklin said there's a system in place to accommodate those individuals.

"We've posted that information to our website and we also are available to help families navigate that exemption process," said Franklin.

The State of Idaho also allows exemptions through parental consent. But Asotin County Health District Nursing Director Diane Rousseau said kids shouldn't be nervous of the shots.

"I've done this for nearly fourteen years and I've never seen a really serious reaction," said Rousseau.

Rousseau said common side affects for the main vaccinations include soreness in the arm, sore muscle and a fever in some cases.

For links to the complete vaccination lists for Clarkston schools as well as Lewiston schools, head to our Facebook page where we've posted the links to their sites. Just search -KLEW News and like the page to join.