As part of the “Got Shots? Protect Tots!” statewide immunization campaign, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), the New Mexico Immunization Coalition, the New Mexico Primary Care Association, healthcare providers from across the state and LCPS are once again partnering to host immunization clinics through August 12 for children 18 years old and younger. LCPS follows New Mexico law for immunization requirements exactly, so all students are required to be up-to-date on all immunizations in order to attend school, said Director of Health Services Sandy Peugh.

“Immunizing the population is the single most important measure available to prevent the spread of numerous diseases—many of which are life-threatening,” Peugh said.

A change to the 2017-18 NMDOH school immunization requirements now requires that all kindergarten through 10th-grade students have two doses of the varicella, also known as chickenpox, vaccine. Previously, the requirement only applied to kindergarten through 9th-grade students, so the change will likely impact a large number of 10th-grade students who may have only received one dose of the vaccine, Peugh said.

Since the requirement will eventually extend to students at all grade levels, the NMDOH also recommends two doses of the varicella vaccine for any students entering the 11th through 12th grade. According to the NMDOH, in the event of a varicella outbreak, two doses may be required for all students, and students with only one dose may be excluded from school.

The NMDOH’s Las Cruces Public Health Office will host  immunization clinics at Allen Theatres, Cineport 10, located at Mesilla Valley Mall, 700 S. Telshor Blvd., from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on the following dates: Thursday, Aug. 10; Monday, Aug. 14; and Tuesday, Aug. 15.

“Allen Theaters is a great partner in this immunization program,” Peugh said. “They provide the space for the clinics, they have more than adequate parking and they are located on the city bus line.”

The immunization clinics are open to the public and immunizations will be administered at no cost to children 18 years old and younger. In order to receive immunizations, a parent or guardian will need to bring a copy of the child’s shot record and Medicaid or private health insurance card, if they have one.

For a listing of participating clinic locations visit: www.immunizenm.org.

New Mexico school nurses are granted public health authority by the NMDOH Cabinet Secretary for collecting and submitting student immunization information. If parents have questions related to immunizations, prior to the start of the regular school year, they can contact school nurses who are participating in the K-3 Plus summer program, Peugh said.

The following schools are participating in the K-3 Plus program: Alameda Elementary School, Booker T. Washington Elementary School, Central Elementary School, César E. Chávez Elementary School, Columbia Elementary School, Conlee Elementary School, Doña Ana Elementary School, East Picacho Elementary School, Hermosa Heights Elementary School, Jornada Elementary School, Loma Heights Elementary School, MacArthur Elementary School, Mesilla Elementary, Mesilla Park Elementary, Sonoma Elementary School, Sunrise Elementary School, Tombaugh Elementary School and Valley View Elementary School.

Peugh also mentioned that summer break is an ideal time to schedule preventative wellness screenings and immunization updates with your child’s health care provider.

For more information, contact Sandy Peugh at (575) 527-5884 or speugh@lcps.net  or call the NMDOH’s Las Cruces Public Health Office at (575) 528-5001. For information about immunization requirements or immunization clinics, visit www.immunizenm.org.