MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - According to the Tennessee Department of Health, hundreds of Shelby County kindergartners had incomplete or missing vaccination records last year. One organization says sometimes barriers get in the way of parents getting their kids to the doctor for back-to-school check-ups.
Well Child created an event to break down those barriers.
While many kids at Main Event in Cordova Tuesday were eager to get to the games, they had to take care of some things first -- eye exams, vaccines and physicals.
“If a child can’t see, if a child isn’t healthy and they are sitting in the classroom, you can’t teach them," said Well Child COO Younousse Boucher. "So we want to make sure children are healthy and are ready to learn.”
The group Well Child held a health fair for Shelby County students at Main Event Tuesday. Health care providers gave mandatory physicals and immunizations, plus eye exams.
Ashley Okono tried to get her kids to the doctor’s office, but their doctor was booked for the summer.
“[The doctor’s office] recommended I call the Well Child office, and the girl over there said we're actually having an event tomorrow,” Okono said.
“This event is designed to be easy for parents so they can come here and get what they need,” Boucher said.
Shelby County Schools require kindergartners to be up-to-date on a half dozen vaccines before starting school. Tennessee State Health Department records show, in the 2017-2018 school year, more than 600 of the more than 8,000 SCS kindergartners had incomplete or missing immunization records.
None of Okono’s kids needed vaccines this year but will need them again before they go in to the seventh grade.
“I personally do stay up with it,” Okono said. “It's a priority. You got to know.”
For a list of mandatory vaccinations click here.