Children need to be immunized for school

One of the most important things you can do to prepare your children for school is to get them vaccinated against serious childhood diseases like measles or whooping cough, according to a news release from the Montgomery County Public Health Department. Children of every age need to have their vaccinations updated whether they will be in day care, preschool, kindergarten, high school or college. New York state law requires that every child planning to go to either a childcare center or school must be immunized against meningitis, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, varicella (chicken pox), Hib and Pneumococcal disease. Hib, and Pneumococcal immunizations are required for childcare and pre-k programs only.

If your child has fallen behind, or started getting vaccinated later than other children, ask your doctor for the ‘catch-up’ schedule. Health clinics and doctors’ offices are especially busy during the last few weeks of August, so it’s smart to make an appointment with your health care provider as early as possible, according to the release.

Recent updates to immunization requirements and recommendations include the addition of the following vaccines:

∫ Children born on or after Jan. 1, 2008, who are entering a child care program need to be immunized against Pneumococcal disease.

∫ Children born on or after Jan. 1, 2005, who are entering child care programs or kindergarten, need to be immunized for tetanus and pertussis.

∫ Children born on or after Jan. 1, 2005, who are entering a child care program or kindergarten, need to be immunized for varicella (chicken pox).

∫ Children born on or after Jan. 1, 1994, who will enter grades 6 through 12 for the 2017-18 school year, need to be immunized for varicella (chicken pox).

∫ Children born on or after Jan. 1, 1994, who will enter grades 6 through 12 for the 2017-18 school year, need a booster dose of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis containing vaccine (Tdap).

∫ Children entering grades seventh, eighth and 12th for the 2017-18 school year need to be immunized for meningitis.

∫ Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine annually. Be sure to immunize your child and yourself against the flu virus as soon as vaccine is available.

For students entering college, a tetanus-diphtheria booster is recommended every 10 years. New York state law also requires each student born on or after Jan. 1, 1957, to have one dose of mumps vaccine, one dose of rubella vaccine, and two doses of measles vaccine. Being immunized against life-threatening meningococcal disease is specifically recommended for college students. Students should check their immunization record with their health care provider or high school to be certain they meet these requirements.

For more information about immunizations, visit the State Health Department web site at www.health.ny.gov/prevention/immunization.

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