In a few short weeks you will have to once again begin packing your child’s lunch as they prepare to walk up the street, jump on the bus and go off to school. Besides thinking about whether your child will prefer ham or turkey on their sandwich you will also have to think about what vaccinations your school requires before your child attends in the fall.
Before we get to a list of commonly required vaccines, here’s a lesson on what a vaccine is:
In US schools there are typically 9 vaccines that may be required before your child attends school. Some vaccination protocols begin soon after birth and some will be administered throughout a person’s life. The 9 common vaccination's are Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella (chickenpox). These are recommended to be used between Kindergarten and 12th grade, so your child may already be protected. To view a scheduler for children aged 7-18yrs and to learn more about immunizations go to http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/preteen-teen.html.
Here is a list and some short descriptions of vaccine-preventable childhood diseases:
• Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
• Hepatitis A Most often: spread by the fecal-oral route (An object contaminated with the stool of a person with hepatitis A is put into another person's mouth.) Vaccine is recommended for all children at age 1 year.
• Hepatitis B All children should get their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth and should have completed the vaccine series by 6 through 18 months of age.
• Children and adolescents through 18 years of age who did not get the vaccine when they were younger should also be vaccinated.
• Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Genital human papillomavirus (also called HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI).
• Meningococcal As a result, college students living in dormitories are at slightly increased risk compared with other persons of the same age. A vaccine is available and recommended for all college freshmen living in a dorm. However, any college student can receive the vaccine to decrease their chances of getting meningococcal disease
• Pertussis (whooping cough) is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. In many people, it's marked by a severe hacking cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like "whoop."
• Rubella (German measles)
• Tetanus (lockjaw)
• Varicella (chickenpox) the best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the chickenpox vaccine. Before the vaccine, about 4 million people would get chickenpox each year in the United States. Also, about 10,600 people were hospitalized and 100 to 150 died each year as a result of chickenpox.
Is your child protected?
Required vaccinations may vary state-to-state so ask your school district which vaccines are required in advance of your child’s start date and also ask if they have further recommendations! As will all information of this type, be sure to consult your child's physician before initiating action.