FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas - School starts in just weeks and health officials want to make sure kids are vaccinated before they return to class.
In Sugar Land on Tuesday, The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center and Ronald McDonald House Charities joined forces, to bring a free medical mobile clinic right outside the Center’s doors.
It was busy throughout the afternoon, with families taking advantage of free check-ups and vaccinations.
Infants to 18-year-old's were registered to get vaccinated, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Roberto Zermano, 15, is heading into his junior year of high school. “I have to get vaccinated every 4 years. The last time I was vaccinated, I was 12.” he said.
Schools require the vaccinations, but doctors say they’re vital for other reasons too.
Experts say cases of measles, once a low-lying disease in this country, have increased because of the choice not to vaccinate. The measles is a preventable disease, experts say, with immunization.
Dr. Mitra Misra, with Texas Children’s Hospital, says the anti-vaccination movement does a disservice to the community, at large.
“The science definitely shows that there is no link to any diseases like autism, with the beginning of immunizations and immunization administration,” said Dr. Misra.
She has been working out of these mobile units for a decade. “We actually serve under-served children because we know they don’t have anywhere else to get the service than through us,” she said.
Residents who turned out today echoed that thought, saying access to health care is often an issue.
“Other families can’t afford to get vaccine shots. Sometimes, they don’t have anything close to them, so I think this is a very helpful thing for the community,” said Ester Martinez of Richmond.
These mobile care units are out Monday through Friday, every week. Starting in August, they’ll be at schools at community centers around the Houston area, Monday through Saturday.
They expect to see hundreds of kids before school starts. There are Spanish-speaking physicians and nurses working out of these units to assist families.
Haze Harrison, a Richmond resident, wanted his son vaccinated before he begins his first year at junior high school. “From the emails I’m getting, it doesn’t seem that they’ll let him move forward without the shots, first of all, but I want to make sure he’s protected and doesn’t catch anything that can be prevented,” said Harrison.