ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts are working to get kids ready for school. Immunization clinics are being held as many start the new school year.

Health experts say it’s important to make sure your child can stay in school and not get exposed to viruses. Organizers called it playing, “Playing Catch Up.”

“During the pandemic, we know that adolescence missed about 10 million doses of their routine vaccinations and in the first year of the pandemic, and we are still getting caught up from that,” said Christie Wills, Communication officer with the VDH Roanoke Alleghany Health District.

She says the VDH has seen an increase in the number of children getting school vaccinations from 2021 to 2022. She says the data to determine how if more were vaccinated this year will be in by September.

Wills said vaccines are not only something that is required by schools but something that can save young lives. Parents, who brought their children to the VDH clinic on Aug. 17, echoed the sentiment.

“It’s definitely a necessity. All kinds of stuff is out there. And that’s the only reason why we as a human race are able to prolong our lives,” said Farrah Eaton, a Roanoke City resident. “It keeps kids safe. It keeps teachers safe. It prolongs our lives. Everyone wins if people get vaccinated.”

If you missed the event, don’t worry. There will be another back-to-school immunization day on Friday, Aug. 18, and the VDH will be giving shots at the back-to-school extravaganza at William Fleming High School on Saturday, Aug.19.