BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - First Lady Donna Edwards and other state health leaders launched the new Vaccinate B4U Graduate program Wednesday.
They say the number of children not vaccinated has quadrupled since 2001 and it’s exposing children to some diseases, such as like measles, that were once a thing of the past. Organizers hope this program educates the public and gives the opportunities they need to get vaccines.
“Being vaccinated prevents illnesses and saves lives. That’s very important for us to remember. So to all our students, please take this seriously, take action. Please get vaccinated before you graduate,” said Edwards.
“Too often, parents and students are unaware of what vaccines they have received and which vaccines need booster doses,” said Dr. John Vanchiere, MD, FAAP, Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, LSUHSC-Shreveport. “Vaccinate Before You Graduate is designed to encourage students to research their vaccine history and receive any missing vaccinations or booster doses before graduating from high school.”
The first lady says the goal is to get teens vaccinated before graduation because vaccines are required for students heading to college.
Speakers at Wednesday’s press conference included:
- First Lady Donna Edwards
- Dr. Rebekah Gee, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health
- Stacy Hall, Immunization Program Director, Louisiana Office of Public Health
- Dr. Joseph Bocchini, Pediatric Infectious Disease, LSU Health Shreveport
- Jeri Acosta, Mother of son who passed during ULL Meningitis outbreak