Before the school year starts up again, you might schedule a visit to your
child’s pediatrician to be sure that he or she is
healthy and ready to get back to school. Part of your visit to the pediatrician may include immunizations, which
are an integral part of illness prevention in the classroom. Below you
can see some questions that will help you determine if your child is up-to-date
with the recommended schedule of vaccines created by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
Which vaccinations does your child need?
While most of your child’s immunizations—including MMR, Hib,
Hepatitis B, and Rotavirus—will take place early on in childhood,
there are some boosters and other vaccines that might become necessary
at middle school age. Between the
ages of 11 and 12, your child may need the first dose of the meningococcal vaccine, HPV,
and Tdap, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough.
The annual flu vaccine is also recommended for children of all ages.
Are catch-up vaccinations effective?
With busy schedules, it can be hard to keep up on regular immunizations
for your child. Still, your child’s pediatrician will likely recommend
catch-up vaccinations. When vaccinations are given off-schedule they are
still effective in preventing illnesses, so you will not want to assume
that it is ever too late to immunize your child.
Why does your child need immunizations for school?
Many schools will require immunization records upon enrollment, because
immunizations are the first line of defense from potentially serious illnesses
like measles or meningitis. When all children are vaccinated against these
diseases, the effectiveness of immunization is more widespread, so every
parent should feel responsible for contributing to the health of all students
in the classroom, not just their own children.
If you have questions about immunizations and other preventive health measures
for your family, connect with Regional Medical Center of San Jose at (888)
762-8881. Our nurses can help you explore local classes and events,
hospital services, and our H2U program, which are all helpful measures in maintaining good
health for the whole family.