Health officials advise spacing out COVID vaccine with required immunizations

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HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — Within the coming day’s children 12 through 15 across the Triad will begin getting Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at their schools, health departments or health care systems.

As schools like Andrews High School in High Point prepare to host vaccine clinics this week, health officials caution families to make sure they space the COVID-19 vaccine out with other back-to-school immunizations.

Tdap and MCV are both necessary vaccines to attend school and as students return to the classroom, several are behind on their required immunizations.

“We believe at this time there’s approximately 10 percent of students that may not have the vaccines,” said Susan Hawks, community health coordinator for the Guilford County Health Department.

Guilford County health officials are alerting parents to carefully schedule their child’s upcoming vaccinations if they’re planning on getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“If you are getting a back-to-school vaccine this week, you would have to wait 14 days to go back to get the COVID-19 vaccine. If you’re getting the COVID-19 vaccine first, you won’t be able to get the back-to-school vaccine until the doses are completed because at some point that time frame is going to overlap,” said Dr. Iulia Vann, Guilford County Director of Public Health.

The two-week gap gives the immune system time to recover and respond so that the vaccines don’t interfere with each other. Vann told FOX8 the order in which your children receive their vaccines is completely up to you.

“I think it’s important for each parent to talk to their pediatrician, talk to their provider and talk about their unique circumstances for their children and which one is going to be better suited for them as far as their timeline is concerned,” Vann said.

If you miss out on one clinic, Hawks says there will be more opportunities down the road.

“We are making plans as we move ahead through August that we will provide opportunities to help parents obtain these vaccines for their children,” Hawks said.

To register for one of the local vaccination clinics, you can go to guilfordvaccination.com.

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