Medical experts urge parents to complete kids' vaccination process ahead of school year

Posted at 11:26 PM, Jul 28, 2021

MILWAUKEE — School is right around the corner and medical experts are urging parents to get their kids vaccinated for COVID-19 now so they will be fully immunized by day one of classes.

Ahead of his freshman year of high school, Tanner Hellman is getting vaccinated. His mother, Denise, said she scheduled it now so he’ll be fully immunized when school begins again.

“He knows that it’s the right thing to do, to protect himself and others in his community,” Denise said.

With the decision to make masks optional or mandatory in local school districts’ hands, Denise said the best thing she could do is get her son vaccinated.

“There’s still plenty of time to get the first and second dose before school starts. I know it takes a little time to work, but it’s still a great time in the summer,” Denise said.

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According to the Wisconsin's Department of Health Services, 33 percent of 12 to 15-year-olds have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The number increases to 42 percent among 16 to 17-year-olds.

“We’re leaning into the school year, and there leaves enough time to get both doses before the school year starts,” said Robert Grindell, M.D., a family practice doctor at Ascension Medical Group.

Grindell said we are now within the perfect window for eligible kids to begin the vaccination process and return to school fully vaccinated.

As different variants of COVID-19 continue spreading, the vaccine can help, even if kids who are vaccinated contract the virus, Grindell said.

“If you do contract coronavirus, it oftentimes is less severe if you’ve been vaccinated before,” he explained.

Grindell said he is seeing more parents like Denise beginning to bring their children in for vaccinations. He hopes to see that trend increasing as the summer months wind down.

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Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

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More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

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