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CDC director urges parents to get children vaccinated ahead of school year

Dr. Mandy Cohen is hoping to educate and promote families on the importance of vaccines as kids head back to school.
Posted at 5:20 PM, Aug 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-16 18:20:13-04

MADISON, Wis. — Dr. Mandy Cohen, the new director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, visited Madison on Wednesday.

She toured the Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) South Clinic. Her goal was to remind parents and guardians about vaccines as the school year begins. She is urging families to add vaccines to the back-to-school list.

“There are vaccines nearly every year that we need to make sure that our kiddos are up to date on whether it’s measles, or polio, or others. So put it on your back-to-school checklist” the director of the CDC, Dr. Mandy Cohen, said.

Dr. Cohen says COVID-19 is something to keep in mind as kids go back to the classrooms. There are some tools to keep in mind.

“We have vaccines, we have tests, we have treatment, don’t forget a good ole hand washing,” Dr. Cohen explained.

Dr. Cohen tells TMJ4 that the state of Wisconsin is seeing lower vaccination rates across the board compared to other states.

“We saw the rates of vaccinations go down a bit during COVID, understandably, people were staying home, but we haven’t seen that come back,” Dr. Cohen said.

Something Shannon Elliott-Chalgren, a mom of three, can relate to.

“We are a little behind because of COVID, we didn’t go to the doctors mostly during the beginning of the pandemic and we’re slowly catching up, but yes vaccines are a part of our routine,” Mount Horeb resident, Shannon Elliott-Chalgren said.

The COVID-19 booster which is recommended by Dr. Cohen is on the list for Shannon’s kids.

“Our family has been doing it just because we know that the science is telling the truth and we want to make sure our kids are safe and protected and we are also protecting people in our community,” Elliott-Chalgren said.

Dr. Cohen says a new COVID-19 booster should be coming out in a few weeks. Dr. Cohen recommends speaking with your doctor to figure out which shot is best for your family.

“Some kids who might have underlying lung disease or other medical conditions, it might be right to get the booster now. For other kids, it might be right to wait for the new booster. The new booster is a little more tailored to the kind of virus that we’re seeing that is circulating right now,” Dr. Cohen explained.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has resources available if you need help getting your child vaccinated.

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