What Vaccines Does Your Child Need for School?

Child takes notes on vaccinations and their benefitsThe new school year is starting, and if you’re a parent there are plenty of things on your mind. Buying new school supplies, scheduling car pools and making sure your kids will have healthy options for lunch can be quite time consuming. So we have to ask, have you considered what vaccines your child needs before going back to school?

August is National Immunization Month and we need to tell you that school-age children, from preschool all the way to college, should be vaccinated. Research has shown that vaccines do work and are an important part of ensuring your child’s long-term health. In fact, it’s much bigger than that. Immunization helps to ensure the long-term health of the entire community.

Here’s What Every Parent Should Know

In order to keep school environments healthy, certain counties may have immunization requirements to protect against specific diseases. Children between the age of 6 and 18 should be vaccinated against pneumonia for instance.

If you don’t know what your school requirements are, you can check with principal, talk to your child’s doctor or even contact the local health department. It’s usually good to get a start on this before the back-to-school rush, but it’s not too late to start now. Click here to review the immunization requirements for the state of Alabama.

Outbreaks Are a Very Real Risk

Vaccines have helped bring several diseases under control since their advent. These include:

  • Polio
  • Small pox
  • Tetanus
  • Yellow fever
  • Whooping cough

Doctor advises parent about vaccine schedule for her kid

Instances of these illnesses are still reported, but they are rare. Last year, there was a total of 668 cases of measles reported in 27 states according to the CDC’s ord number of measles cases during 2014, with 668 cases from 27 states reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD).

Cases of the whooping cough are also still reported each year. In fact, the risk rises in each middle and high school environment as the protection from early childhood vaccines diminishes.

Keeping your child up to date on their vaccines is the best way to ensure your school environments are protected against these types of outbreaks. If you haven’t before, this is a great year to have a conversation with your child’s doctor about vaccines.

Vaccines for Young Children (6 and Under)

Vaccines administered to children in this age range will protect them from 14 potentially life threatening diseases. Unvaccinated children are not only put at greater risk, but the risk to other young children in the community increases as well.

The Flu Vaccine

Children entering preschool and elementary school should be vaccinated for influenza (the flu). The CDC’s official recommendation for is that all children should receive the flu vaccine after the reach 6 months. We recommend that you ask your doctor about available flu shots and even nasal sprays that can protect against the flu.

Vaccines for Your Preteens and Teens (Ages 7 to 18)

Vaccinations are still necessary for children when they reach those awkward teen years. They may think they’re invincible, but the risk for diseases like meningitis is still very real.

Young teen resistant to getting a vaccine before school

For 11 to 12 year olds, there are three recommended vaccinations

HPV Vaccine

This vaccine can prevent HPV infections and is actually quite common. While most cases don’t produce any noticeable symptoms, this infection can cause cervical cancer in women later in life.

Tdap Booster

11 to 12 year olds should get the booster shot known as the Tdap. This one shot provides protection against:

  • Tetanus
  • Whooping cough
  • Diphtheria

Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine

This vaccine is designed to battle the most common causes of the meningococcal disease (meningitis). This is a serious disease that is life-threatening. Talk to your doctor about this vaccine this year.

Flu vaccines are also still highly recommended for preteens and teens. In fact, we recommend getting them vaccinated for the flu each year. Remember that these diseases change and evolve over time.


So now you should have a better idea of the types of vaccines your child (depending on their age) should get as this new school year gets kicked off. You can still beat the back to school rush and get your child the necessary vaccines this week– it’s not too late!


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