More than 100 seventh grade students at Luling Junior High started the 2013-14 school year with outdated immunization records. With so many students out of compliance, the school set an Oct. 4 deadline for them to obtain the vaccines or deliver paperwork showing they got their shots.
Then they called a trusted local medical partner to help fix the problem.
Every Friday, Ascension Seton Edgar B. Davis Hospital‘s Children’s Care-A-Van is available to provide medical care behind Luling Primary School on Travis Street, so the junior high sent a letter to parents, reminding them of necessary vaccines and noting the Children’s Care-A-Van could provide them.
“We worked with school nurses to prepare for the large number of students and ordered additional vaccines,” said Tiffany McDonald-Marsh, physician assistant on the Children’s Care-A-Van. “To ensure students did not miss any school days, we also extended our vaccine-only coverage hours for the two weeks leading up to the school’s deadline.”
Since the last big round of child immunizations are to occur at age four, it’s common for junior high students to fall behind on scheduled vaccinations. However, the state requires all seventh graders to receive updated Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria pertussis), meningococcal conjugate (meningitis) and varicella (chicken pox) vaccines.
In the two weeks leading up to the deadline, a total of 90 vaccines were provided to students.
The Children’s Care-A-Van also pulled records for nearly 50 students who, unknown to school officials, were up-to-date from the state’s online immunization registry.
“They make it so easy to get vaccines,” said Luling Junior High School Nurse Angie Salas. “The majority of students met our deadline. If it weren’t for the Care-A-Van’s availability and ease of use, several students would have been out of compliance and missed school days as a result.”
This year alone, the Children’s Care-A-Van has administered nearly 2,000 vaccines. The full-service mobile medical unit travels to different Caldwell County locations to provide health care closer to home for children who otherwise may not get medical care. The mobile operation is funded by generous donations from Caldwell County residents and business.
A Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provider, the Children’s Care-A-Van accepts most insurance plans. All children are welcome and no child is turned away for inability to pay. The maximum out of pocket expense for a child with no medical insurance coverage is $20.
In addition to Fridays in Luling, the Ascension Seton Edgar B. Davis Children’s Care-A-Van is in Prairie Lee on Tuesdays, Lockhart on Wednesdays, and Cedar Creek on Thursdays. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are encouraged to reduce waiting time. However, walk-in appointments are also available.
To schedule an appointment, call (512) 738-0625. More information also is available online.
Businesses and individuals interested in donating to the Children’s Care-A-Van may call Carrie Cavanagh, Ascension Seton foundation development director, at (830) 875-7066.