Does Your Back-to-School Checklist Include Vaccination?
From newborns to college, you can help protect your children from 16 serious diseases by getting them vaccinated. Make sure your kids get any needed vaccines before the back-to-school rush!
As a parent, making sure your children are vaccinated on time is an important step toward ensuring their long-term health. Vaccination also helps protect the health of classmates, friends, relatives, and others in the community.
By following the CDC’s recommended immunization schedule for your children, you help protect them from disease outbreaks:
- 2017-2018 was a high severity flu season with record breaking levels of influenza-like illness and hospitalization rates. CDC reported 176 flu-related deaths in children through June 30th. This set the record for the highest number of flu-related deaths in children reported during a single flu season. Approximately 80% of these deaths occurred in children who had not received a flu vaccination this season.
- In 2014, The United States experienced 667 reported cases of measles in 27 states. That’s the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000. From January 1st to June 16th, 2018, 93 people from 19 states were reported to have measles.
- Outbreaks of whooping cough can occur at middle and high schools as protection from childhood vaccines fades. In 2016, there were 17,972 reported cases of whooping cough in the U.S., down from 2012’s 57-year high of 48,277 cases.
Vaccines for Young Children (Newborns through 6 years old):
- During the early years of life, your children need vaccines to help protect them from diseases that can be very serious, even deadly.
- You can find out what vaccines your children need by reviewing CDC’s recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule.
- Annual flu vaccines are recommended for children 6 months and older. Each year, millions of children get sick from seasonal flu. Thousands are hospitalized, and some children die from flu. Children of any age with chronic health problems like asthma, diabetes, and disorders of the brain or nervous system are at high risk of serious flu complications.
Vaccines for Preteens and Teens (7 years old through 18 years old):
- All preteens and teens need a flu vaccine every year.
- Some children 6 months through 8 years of age require two doses of flu vaccine. Children 6 months through 8 years getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season. The first dose should be taken as soon as the flu vaccine is available, and the second dose should be received at least 28 days after the first dose. In following years, only one dose is needed.
- In addition to an year flu vaccine, three vaccines are recommended specifically for preteens:
- HPV vaccine protects against HPV infections that can cause cancer later in life.
- Tdap is a booster shot to help protect preteens from whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria.
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine protects against meningitis, and bloodstream infections (bacteremia or septicemia). These illnesses can be very serious, even fatal.
- If your teen hasn’t gotten one or more of these vaccines, make an appointment for them to get caught up today.
Be wise – Have your Child Immunized
What Parents Need to Know:
- CDC has online resources and tools to help you make sure your kids are up to date on recommended vaccines and protected from serious diseases.
- If you don’t have health insurance, or your insurance policy doesn’t cover all recommended childhood vaccines, your child may be eligible for vaccines through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.
- Your state may require children to get vaccines against certain diseases before the first day of school. Visit the Immunization Action Coalition’s State Information websiteExternal for more information.
It’s Not Too Late to Protect Your Children!
If your children have missed any vaccines, your healthcare professional can use the catch-up immunization schedule to get them back on track. Make sure your kids get any needed vaccines before the back-to-school rush!
National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, Office of Health Communication Service