DOBSON — With kids returning to school in less than two weeks, Surry County officials are urging parents to ensure their children have been properly immunized.
To aid in the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center’s endeavor, the staff at the health department have set up an immunization awareness event at the Mayberry Mall in Mount Airy.
On Friday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., health department staff will be on hand at the mall to educate people of all ages about vaccines. The event also includes a fun twist for children, using superheros to get kids excited about shots.
The superhero outreach booth will include information on vaccinations. Though the event will cater to children — with activities, the superhero theme and prizes which will be raffled — adults are encouraged to stop by to learn a little about immunizations and when vaccines should be administered.
Health and Nutrition Center Assistant Health Director Maggie Simmons noted no immunizations will be offered at the mall. Instead, parents can learn what immunizations their children should receive and learn how to receive those vaccines.
Folks can then stop by the county health department to receive their immunizations, a process which is done on a walk-in basis.
Simmons also stated it is the second year for the superhero immunization program, and it has helped Surry County stay ahead of the pack in immunization rates.
“In 2015, 82 percent of children in Surry County were up-to-date on all recommended vaccines by their second birthday. This exceeds the county average statewide of 70 percent,” wrote Simmons in an email. “While we are very proud of our success, we will continue to work towards getting 100 percent.”
She noted the superhero campaign began as a result of additional immunization requirements last year, and it was something the community embraced.
“Due to having an abundance of positive feedback, we wanted to host another event in order to provide further education for our community,” stated Simmons. “It gives our staff the opportunity to connect with families across the county and provide them with information about the importance of receiving childhood immunizations.”
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.