Back-to-School Checklist Should Include Immunizations

It seems like summer started yesterday, but it’s already back-to-school season. While parents are making sure that their child has everything they need for school, it’s also very important to keep your child up-to-date on their immunizations. Germs and bacteria spread quickly throughout schools, but vaccinating your child will help prevent the development of viruses and diseases.

Immunizations Are Safe and They Work

Vaccines work, and are extremely effective. There are usually no side effects after immunization. It is possible, however, for some children to experience side effects from vaccination shots, but serious side effects – such as an allergic reaction – are extremely rare. The benefits of vaccinations outweigh the risks.

Parents should take the necessary steps to help keep others safe and protected from getting sick at school by making sure their children are vaccinated for the school year. It is required in New York State for parents to submit proof of up-to-date immunizations, otherwise their child will not be able to attend school. Children age four or older who are entering kindergarten, pre-kindergarten, or daycare should receive a vaccine for Poliovirus (IPV), Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), and Varicella (chickenpox). They should also receive a booster dose of Diphtheria, Tetanus (lockjaw), Acellular, and Pertussis vaccine (DtaP).

Back to School Immunization

Each year, thousands of children get sick from the seasonal flu even leaving hundreds hospitalized. Last winter was a high-severity flu season with record-breaking levels of influenza-like illness and hospitalization rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 176 flu-related deaths in children, setting the record for the highest number of flu-related deaths in children reported during a single flu season. The CDC reported approximately 80 percent of these deaths occurred in children who had not received a flu vaccination. Thus, it is imperative for children 6 months and older get their annual flu vaccines.

CDC Vaccines for Children Program

Stats show in 2014, there were 667 reported cases of measles in 27 U.S. states and 17,972 reported cases of whooping cough in 2016. During the early years of life, your children need vaccines to help protect them from these diseases, which can be very serious and even deadly. You can find out what vaccines your children need by reviewing the CDC’s recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule.

In some cases, babies and young children may not be able to be fully vaccinated because of allergies and weakened immune systems. However, if you and your children are able to be vaccinated, it’s important that you get fully immunized. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases in school. The Vaccines for Children Program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not be vaccinated because of the price. Whether your child is a newborn, toddler or teenager, you can help protect them from 16 serious diseases by getting them vaccinated as soon as possible.

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