The first day of school is fast approaching. Does your back-to-school checklist include getting your kids up to date on their immunizations? As a parent, getting your children vaccinated in a timely manner helps to protect them, as well as the health of their classmates, friends, relatives and others in the community.
Certain vaccination doses are required by specific grades levels or age groups. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a recommended immunization schedule to follow.
According to the CDC, preschool and elementary school aged children, between the ages of 3 and 10, need additional doses of some of the vaccines they received in their infant and toddler years. Those include:
- Diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis) (DTaP) (5th dose)
- Polio (IPV) (4th dose)
- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) (2nd dose)
- Chickenpox (varicella) (2nd dose)
As protection from childhood vaccines wear off, preteens and adolescents also need additional vaccines to extend that protection. For kids and teens, ages 11 through 18, the CDC recommends:
· Meningococcal conjugate (two doses; the first around ages 11-12 and a second at age 16)
· HPV (two doses) (at ages 11-12 and a second dose 6-12 months later)
· Tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis) (Tdap) (one dose around ages 11-12)
As your child heads to college, make sure all vaccinations are up to date and that he or she has a copy of all immunization records. If you have questions about what immunizations your child needs before heading back to school, talk to his or her pediatrician.
At Legacy Community Health, we offer a full range of vaccinations to patients of all ages. Our immunization services are just part of our commitment to bringing comprehensive care to all the communities we serve. Click here to learn more.