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In New Mexico, all children enrolled in school from kindergarten to grade 12 have to have their vaccination said Shawna Bailey, Coordinator of Health Services for Las Cruces Public Schools. Despite COVID-19 restrictions, children are required to be up to date on immunizations for school.
“It is a state law for enrolled in school to have their shots updated,” she said. “Even Virtual Learning Academy students have to be up to date. If they are not vaccinated, their parents need to submit vaccination exemption to the New Mexico Department of Health (NMCH).”
Luckily the NMDH, the New Mexico Immunization Coalition (NMIC), the New Mexico Primary Care Association (NMPCA) and healthcare providers from across the state are helping parents prepare children for going back to school. Special immunization clinics will be held from July 25 through Aug. 15 for all children 18 years old and younger. The special clinics are part of the Got Shots? immunization campaign.
“We are very lucky our generations don’t have to deal with the mass cases of polio, measles, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough that previous generations did,” Bailey said. “New Mexico is one of the top states for having immunizations up to date.”
“COVID-19 is a great example of why we need vaccines,” said NMDH Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel in a press release. “While we don’t have a COVID vaccine yet, we are able to protect families and children against many diseases with safe effective immunizations. I encourage all New Mexico parents to take advantage of the upcoming clinics.”
Participating providers will offer immunizations to any child, regardless of whether they are a patient or have insurance as part of Got Shots? Some providers hold clinics on weekends or evening hours to accommodate parents’ busy schedules. Parents should call ahead to the clinic to check if an appointment is needed.
In addition, due to COVID-19, there may be special procedures in place, such as waiting in the car until their child’s turn. Parents need to bring their child’s shot record and Medicaid or private health insurance card if they have insurance, even though immunizations are provided at no cost to parents.
The Got Shots? immunization campaign is organized by the New Mexico Immunization Coalition, which includes the New Mexico Primary Care Association and the Department of Health. This year 37 community health centers, public health offices, and private practices across New Mexico are participating in Got Shots?
To find a clinic in local communities statewide, people are encouraged to go online to www.immunizenm.org and click on the Got Shots? logo. The Department of Health provides immunizations at no cost year-round at public health clinics in every county for uninsured children.
VaxViewNM enables individuals, parents, and guardians to access, save and/or print official immunization records. This eliminates the need to carry multiple or aged documents and allows you to access your shot record anytime you need. VaxViewNM is mobile friendly and uses two-factor authentication.