It’s Time for Back-to-School Vaccinations: Here’s What You Need to Know
With the new school year quickly approaching and students getting ready to return to in-person classes, it is important to make sure your child’s vaccination records are up to date. Most schools require vaccination records to be submitted before your child can attend classes – to protect teachers, staff, peers, and your own child from illnesses that may spread. Keep reading to learn more about the vaccinations that are necessary for children to receive before they head back to school.
The TDaP vaccine is a combination vaccine that aims to prevent children from contracting diphtheria, which is an infection of the nose and throat, tetanus, a bacterial infection, and pertussis, also known as whooping cough. It is recommended for children to receive this vaccination five times: one dose at 2 months old, one dose at 4 months, one dose at 6 months, one dose between 15 and 18 months, and one dose between 4 and 6 years of age.
The MMR vaccine is intended to protect against measles, a serious viral infection, mumps, a viral infection that affects the salivary glands, and rubella, a viral infection that causes a rash. It is recommended children receive two doses of this vaccine: one between 12 and 15 months, and one between 4 and 6 years of age.
Inactivated Polio Vaccine
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that can invade the brain and spinal cord causing paralysis or even death. With vaccination, polio has been eliminated in the United States, but it is still a threat in some other countries. It is recommended children get four doses of the polio vaccine: one at 2 months old, one at 4 months, one between 6 and 18 months, and one between the ages of 4 and 6 years of age.
The varicella vaccine provides protection from chickenpox, which is an intense, itchy full body rash. Chickenpox is extremely contagious, so it is crucial children receive this vaccination to avoid spreading the illness to others. It is recommended children receive two doses of the varicella vaccine with the first dose administered between 12 and 15 months, and the second between 4 and 6 years of age.
Hepatitis B Vaccine
The hepatitis vaccine provides protection against hepatitis B, a serious liver infection caused by a virus. It is recommended children receive three doses: one dose at birth, another between the ages of 1 and 2 months old, and the third dose between 6 and 9 months.
Hepatitis A Vaccine
The hepatitis vaccine provides protection against hepatitis A, a contagious liver infection caused by a virus. It is recommended children are given 2 doses of the hepatitis A vaccine between 12 and 23 months.
The meningococcal vaccine is a vaccine that protects against severe illnesses caused by bacteria. It is recommended children receive this vaccine from 11 to 12 years of age, with a booster dose at 16 years of age.
Making sure these vaccinations are up to date should be an essential part of any parent’s back-to-school checklist. If you are unsure if your child has had all of their necessary vaccines, check with your primary care provider to get their updated records.