WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Some Texans may not be prepared for the winter weather and all of the health concerns it brings, due to a low vaccination rate.
On Wednesday, WalletHub, a financial planning and analysis website, released its vaccination rates by state and Texas came in second to last. Ragen White has three kids. One is seven and two twin girls who are about to be two, she said if it weren’t for vaccinations her girls wouldn’t be here today.
“I had to go on bed rest for two weeks before I had them,” White said. “I had to have vaccinations myself for them to make their lungs grow because we knew they would come early. The whole time they were in the hospital they had to have different vaccinations every day to help with something or to keep some of the diseases away.”
Clinics of North Texas Pediatrician Dr. Lauren Hayley along with other doctors hope to improve the vaccination rate through education of patients or their parents.
“I am having a lot more patients come to me and ask about it,” Hayley said. “I haven’t seen as many patients that are just flat out refusing vaccinations but it’s part of my job honestly to be able to have those conversations. Those kinds of challenging conversations every single time. The more open you are the better you are with your patients.”
Hayley said a measles outbreak in Texas could have been prevented.
“With measles specifically if you don’t get vaccinated against measles you are about 35 times more likely to be affected by it if you haven’t had that vaccine,” Hayley said. “There’s a huge chance that if you haven’t had the vaccine you could contract it if you are exposed versus someone who is vaccinated.”
Because of her experience, White is urging parents to get their kids vaccinated.
“When I hear parents don’t take that precaution it breaks my heart because there’s thousands of kids that without it, may not be here,” White said.
White and Hayley hope Texas’ low vaccination raking will rise and make the state a healthier place for everyone.
Clinics of North Texas is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Wednesday they are open until 7 p.m. with an appointment.
If folks can’t make it there, MSU’s Student Nurses Association is assisting the Tillman County Health Department and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, by participating in a state exercise on Oct. 8, 2019, while offering a flu clinic to the public at the Tillman County Health Department from 9 a.m.–noon.