It’s “back to school” time, and many parents are having to make hard decisions about whether their kids will attend school in person, online, or a combination of both. There is a lot we can’t control right now, but there are things you can do to help ensure your kids health and safety. This year, more than ever, it’s important to be ahead of the curve when it comes to your child’s back to school vaccinations.
What vaccinations does my child need?
It is important for kids to get certain vaccinations based on their ages. Some vaccinations require two doses given at different times. Schools often require proof of certain vaccines based on what is recommended for each age-group. Your doctor will be able to tell you which vaccinations your child is already up to date on and which ones are still needed.
By the age of 6, kids should have received vaccines for:
- hepatitis A and B
- Haemophilus influenza type b
- pneumococcal conjugate
- chickenpox, poliomyelitis
These vaccines prevent children from contracting dangerous diseases and spreading them to others in school or at extracurricular activities where kids are often interacting, making it easy for germs to spread from person to person.
Booster shots for tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough should be given every ten years, and the meningococcal vaccine is usually recommended at around age 11. Additionally, if there are any vaccinations your child missed before kindergarten, they should receive those vaccinations.
High School and College
Many colleges require updated vaccine records before a student is allowed to move on campus. Usually the HPV vaccine is recommended at around age 18, and students should be sure that their meningococcal and MMR vaccines are up to date.
While not required, it is recommended that everyone receive the yearly flu vaccine. The vaccine is updated each year so that it can protect you from that year’s flu strain.
While it can feel overwhelming to keep up with all the vaccines your family needs, it is an important step to ensuring that your family stays healthy and protects those around them from illness as well. Vaccines are very safe, and your doctor can always answer any questions or concerns you may have.