Immunization program a success
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Change is never easy, especially when it impacts thousands of people. However, sometimes it is more than worth it. This was the case with the adolescent immunization requirements that started this fall.
New immunization requirements compelled seventh- and 12th-grade students to receive Tdap and meningococcal vaccinations prior to starting school. While some found the new requirement to be inconvenient, the majority of parents wholly supported this change. In fact, the state Department of Education announced on Oct. 11 that 99.85 percent of seventh- and 12th-graders were in compliance with the requirements. That's 39,000 students in West Virginia who are now protected from pertussis (whooping cough) and bacterial meningitis! This achievement is something that we as a state should be proud of and celebrate.
Additionally, the protection doesn't end with those students. The students who were vaccinated are not only protecting themselves from these diseases, but through their high rate of vaccination, they are also protecting any friends, fellow students, and family members who can't, for medical reasons, be immunized.
We thank all the school personnel, health-care providers, public health officials, and especially parents and teens for taking the steps to do what is best for the health of our community of students. And we are proud of our state for protecting our children from dangerous, yet preventable, diseases.
Co-chairwomen of the West Virginia Immunization Network
Speech therapy center a valued asset
My wife and I are advocates for children with speech problems and we thoroughly enjoyed your article "Childhood Language Center hires new director." The Charleston area should be appreciative that The Childhood Language Center is serving children in the community by providing free speech therapy for speech and language disorders. I wish every community in the U.S. had a center like this that provided free speech therapy to kids.