Health Department encouraging vaccinations as parents opt kids - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Health Department encouraging vaccinations as parents opt kids out

Posted: Updated:
CHRISTIANSBURG -

New River Health Director Dr. Molly O'dell says one of the first public health laws on the books in Virginia dealt with children going into schools free of vaccine preventable diseases. "The whole reason for childhood vaccinations is to prevent school age diseases that used to be crippling and cause disability," O'dell said.

But today, many parents opt out of vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. "We would like to say 100% of our school children are immunized or have a complete medical reason why they can't be vaccinated."

Health officials don't keep a complete record of compliance but schools track the information. Students need to be vaccinated or have a notarized exemption on file. In Montgomery County, there are more than 9,000 students. 118 of them, or just over one percent are unvaccinated. Out of more than 13,000 Roanoke students, nearly 1,100, more than eight percent are unvaccinated. "Certainly anything over 90% is good in terms of the rest of the population who is vaccinated being able to provide the herd immunity to those individuals who are not vaccinated."

That's within an often recommended range but not enough to protect every student if there's an outbreak of disease the health department is already seeing cases of this year. "We've definitely seen whooping cough or Pertussis," O'dell said. "We've had chicken pox cases, mumps and measles cases in the state."

Already this year, the Department of Health reports 61 cases of Pertussis in our region compared to 42 in the same time period last year. When a case pops up at a daycare or school, VDH and schools identify children who haven't had vaccines because they're the most at risk. They'll have to stay home from school.

VDH says it is working to educate parents to get their kids vaccinated and offering free vaccines. They're particularly encouraging pregnant women, young adults, grandparents and anyone in contact with a child to get vaccinated.

  • Police identify person of interest in deadly Lynchburg shooting

    UPDATE: Police identify person of interest in deadly Lynchburg shooting

    UPDATE: Police identify person of interest in deadly Lynchburg shooting

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:38 AM EDT2014-08-27 10:38:12 GMT
    Dominique Moss, 24, has been identified as a person of interest in the Lynchburg shooting. Dominique Moss, 24, has been identified as a person of interest in the Lynchburg shooting.
    Police are investigating a shooting that left one man dead Tuesday night.
    Police are investigating a shooting that left one man dead Tuesday night.
  • Roanoke County police investigating crash, driver charged with DUI

    Roanoke County police investigating crash, driver charged with DUI

    Saturday, August 30 2014 2:05 PM EDT2014-08-30 18:05:30 GMT
    Roanoke County (WSLS) - Roanoke County police are investigating after a car went into a house early Saturday morning.Police say around 4:00 a.m. officers were dispatched to the 5700 block of Castle Rock Road. Police say the driver fled the scene. After locating the registered owner of the vehicle, the driver was later located at his home less than 2 miles away on Cresthill Road.Maurice Rowe III, 21, was arrested and transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for minor inju...
    Roanoke County (WSLS) - Roanoke County police are investigating after a car went into a house early Saturday morning.Police say around 4:00 a.m. officers were dispatched to the 5700 block of Castle Rock Road. Police say the driver fled the scene. After locating the registered owner of the vehicle, the driver was later located at his home less than 2 miles away on Cresthill Road.Maurice Rowe III, 21, was arrested and transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for minor inju...
  • Virginia Western Boots2Books race raises money for Veterans

    Virginia Western Boots2Books race raises money for Veterans

    Saturday, August 30 2014 1:53 PM EDT2014-08-30 17:53:18 GMT
    Courtesy: Virginia WesternCourtesy: Virginia Western
    Roanoke (WSLS) - More than 100 people gathered Saturday morning for a 5K race benefiting the Virginia Western Educational Foundation's Veterans Assistance Fund. TheBoots2Books race was hosted by the Virginia Western Armed Forces Student Association and started on the campus of Virginia Western Community College.“Despite the supports and funding available to veterans as they return to college and prepare for the workforce, many still find themselves needing help,” said Matthew Jones, president...
    Roanoke (WSLS) - More than 100 people gathered Saturday morning for a 5K race benefiting the Virginia Western Educational Foundation's Veterans Assistance Fund. TheBoots2Books race was hosted by the Virginia Western Armed Forces Student Association and started on the campus of Virginia Western Community College.“Despite the supports and funding available to veterans as they return to college and prepare for the workforce, many still find themselves needing help,” said Matthew Jones, president...
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.