Toddlers Behind on Vaccinations

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- The screams during a round of shots are usually enough to make any mother want to run away. Health officials say by listening to your child suffer through a series of vaccinations you're giving them lifesaving protection against diseases like polio, rubella, measles, mumps, and varicella.

Immunization Program Manager, Penny Farris, says parents often bring toddlers into the Ector County Health Department Immunization Clinic who haven't had a single vaccine.

"20-25 percent, maybe higher, rate of children who don't actually stay on schedule," Farris told a Newswest 9 Crew.

Farris says children who don't stay on track are open to whooping cough, chicken pox or other potentially deadly diseases. Farris says it can also put the community at risk for an outbreak.

"It's here, it's free if they need it to be, so the important thing is get that child that protection," Farris said.

If a child does end up contracting a disease, it can also cause problems for other members of the household, who have compromised immune systems.