BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - They inevitably cause a few tears, and a lot of anxiety for children and parents alike. But pediatrician Dr. Wendy Williams will tell you, vaccinations are very important.
"It's scary when you read everything that's out there," says Dr. Williams. "But really in truly they are safe and it's one of the single best things you can do to protect your children."
In Mississippi, children are required to have a number of immunizations before entering school. Dr. Williams says that's one of our great safety nets. And though most parents are accepting of the shots, she says some are still a little skeptical.
"A lot of times it just is the parents are scared, they've heard stories and they just want someone to assure them that everything is going to be ok." Dr. Williams adds they want "to discuss the research and to understand why people are saying these things, and to know that they are safe."
Toddlers, too, need a little convincing when it comes time to get their shots. Dr. Williams says honesty is the best strategy.
"Yes it's going to hurt; and it probably will for a moment, but it's ok. And this is just part of growing up and this is what you have to do to go to school and to protect yourself and to protect your friends."
If you have children entering Kindergarten this August, now is the time to schedule your immunizations. Biloxi Excel by 5 is hosting an immunization fair for school-aged children in July, with no out of pocket costs to parents. That begins Saturday, July 23rd, from 8 a.m. to noon at Coastal Family Health, which is located at 735 Division Street in Biloxi. On July 25th, 26th, and 27th healthcare professionals will be administering immunizations at Lopez Elementary on St. John Avenue in Biloxi (Monday from 9 am - 4 pm, Tuesday from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, and Wednesday from 8 am - 4 pm). Parents should bring insurance cards, a photo ID, and their child's shot record. For more information you can call Susan Hunt at (228) 297-6808.