Reminder to update vaccines before kids return to school
The Northwoods Immunization Coalition, along with the Oneida County Health Department, is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month to celebrate the importance of immunizations throughout life and make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need. Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization schedule is important to protect their health, as well as that of their classmates and the community. Back-to-school season is a good time to check with a doctor to find out which vaccines a child needs.
Most schools require children to be current on vaccinations before enrolling to protect the health of all students. Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles and whooping cough.
When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community, including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions.
School-age children need vaccines. For example, children who are 4 to 6 years old are due for boosters of four vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and polio. Older children, like preteens and teens, need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), MenACWY (meningococcal conjugate vaccine) and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines when they are 11 to 12. In addition, yearly flu vaccines are recommended for all children 6 months and older.
Parents may learn more about the recommended immunizations schedule by logging on to cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.html, or by calling the Oneida County Health Department or their health care provider.