Parents are informed, during WIC visits and well checks, about how important it is to immunize their children to protect them from 14 different diseases by 2 years old. It is also important to get your children boosted with more immunity before school.
In Kindergarten (ages 4 to 6), students should have chickenpox (varicella) vaccine, DTaP (Which protects against three diseases; Dipoheria, tetanus and Pertussis), Flu, MMR (which protects against three diseases Measles, Mumps and Rubella) and the Polio Vaccine.
Children should get boosters before Seventh Grade as well (ages11 to 12). Boosters include Flu and TDaP, along with a Meningococcal Vaccine, which protects against meningococcal bacteria that can cause serious and even deadly infections. The most common types of infections are meningitis (an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, and bloodstream). Meningococcal disease can become very serious very quickly. Even with treatment, 10 to 15 out of 100 people with meningococcal disease will die from it. Older teens, 16 years old, need a second shot so they can stay protected during the ages when they are at highest risk.
HPV is also recommended for children entering seventh grade. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of more than 150 viruses that can cause serious infection. While most HPV infections go away on their own, infections that don’t go away can cause multiple kinds of cancers in men and women. About 14 million people in the USA are infected with HPV each year. The best protection against HPV infections and cancers is two doses of vaccine given at 11 through 12 years and the second dose is given six to 12 months following the first dose.
TriCounty Health Department can help get your students ready for the start of the new year. The 2020-2021 school year may be different than other years, but vaccinations will help keep your child healthy throughout the school year, by protecting them from diseases and infections.