School is back in session and that means health care providers are busy making sure everyone is up to date with their immunizations. Nurse Consultant for the Immunization Program Susan Reeser explains why immunization is so important.

“At any time someone can come into your community and bring one of these diseases in from out of the country or out of the area,” said Reeser. “If we have someone from the area that’s not vaccinated that travels out of the area and comes back, they can bring those diseases back with them and they can be very serious.”

Reeser says there are other recommended vaccines that schools don’t require students to take.

“The school requirements are just some of the vaccines. There are others that are recommended. Particularly for teens, there are vaccines out there like the HPV which is a cancer prevention vaccine and the meningococcal which is prevention for meningitis. If you are not familiar with those be sure to talk to your health care provider.”

According to Reeser, Last year Montana ranked between 94 and 97 percent when it comes to the required doses of vaccines for schools.