Immunizations are for more than students going back to school

TUCSON, AZ (TNN) – The Roy Drachman Clubhouse on the southside hosted the last immunization clinic of its kind for the summer.  But opportunities still abound to get protected, and immunization is not just for school students.

"A new year is coming again," said high school freshman Leo Valdez as he waited to get the vaccinations that he needed on Saturday.

As school starts, the Valdez family makes sure that Leo and his sister Yaya have their immunizations up to date.

"I like shots," she said.

"It's good because it keeps the kids healthy and we don't have to be worrying about if we don't have the money to pay for the shots," said their mother, Yvonne Valdez.

While the event was a back-to-school clinic, adults need vaccinations also.  And the shots are available year-round from El Rio Community Health Centers and Pima County Health Department.

"We try to keep moms and dads and grandparents and aunts and uncles, everyone who's going to have contact with a small newborn, it's especially important that they be up to date on all vaccine preventable illnesses," said Dr. Andrew Arthur, a pediatrician and assistant medical director for El Rio.

The vaccinations range from whooping cough and tetanus to hepatitis and meningitis.  Coming in once a year both keeps the Valdez family's immunizations up to date, and their records organized.

"The key is we want children to have a medical home, a place where they can go for regular care," Dr. Arthur said.

"It keeps us healthy, it keeps us immune from everything," Leo Valdez said.

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