June 8, 2023

Health officials stress importance of vaccines, other precautions
Health officials stress importance of vaccines, other precautions
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Health officials stress importance of vaccines, other precautions
Health experts say this is the most “normal” back-to-school students and their families have had since the start of the pandemic, but they say there are still some challenges.
“Our first message to people particularly going back to school, parents that are concerned about their children, is to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Benjamin Chan, New Hampshire state epidemiologist.
Chan says he’s viewing COVID-19 in a more holistic approach by trying to prevent the virus along with other illnesses.
While says vaccines are vital, more precautions are needed.
“There is a role for school buildings for example and other businesses to try to increase ventilation, change over the air in classrooms to try and minimize not only COVID-19, but other viruses,” Chan said.
School districts report they’re following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and acquiring more tests.
“If a student has to be sent home because of showing signs of COVID, we will send them home with a couple of tests,” said Laura Anderson, health care coordinator at the Concord School District.
Anderson also stresses the importance of vaccines — not only for COVID-19, but for the flu as well.
When it comes to monkeypox, Catholic Medical Center pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Packard says the virus is not as concerning as COVID-19 or the flu.
“It’s really intimate contact that’s the biggest risk factor right now for monkeypox, so I don’t think that’s a risk factor for the school setting,” Packard said.

“The concern comes in then you have families who are multi-generational living in homes together,” Anderson said.
Anderson told News 9 the best families can do is to encourage healthy habits to ensure children don’t miss out on part of their education.
“Keep them in school, we don’t want the students to go home again because they need to be in school, it’s very important for their mental health, for their physical health and for their general health to be in school and learning,” Anderson said.
Unlike the COVID-19 and flu vaccines, when it comes to the monkeypox vaccine, doses are still limited.
There are monkeypox vaccination sites in the state, however. More information can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services website.
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