Last updated: August 11. 2014 2:30PM - 192 Views
By Susan Young Contributing Columnist

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Back-to-school season is here. Time for parents to gather school supplies and back packs. It’s also the perfect time to make sure your kids are up-to-date on their vaccines.

Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC’s immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health — and that of classmates and the community.

Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk of disease and can spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community — including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

School age children need vaccines. For example, kids who are 4 to 6 years old are due for boosters of four vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and polio. Older children, like pre-teens and teens, need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), HPV (human papillomavirus), hepatitis A, a second varicella (chickenpox vaccine), and MCV (meningococcal conjugate virus) vaccines. In addition, yearly flu vaccines are recommended for all children 6 months and older.

Check with the Madison County/London City Health District at (740) 852-3065 or your child’s doctor to find out what vaccines they need this year. The health district turns no one away due to inability to pay.

Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents.

Susan Young, R.N. is the director of nursing at the Madison County-London City Health District. She can be reached at (740) 852-3065.

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