Don't Wait -- Vaccinate

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This year, make sure your child's immunizations are up-to-date before he or she heads back to school.

Young children aren't the best at avoiding germs, so when one child gets sick, it's almost a given that it will get passed to other children in their class. That's why most schools require vaccinations for students to enroll, particularly for highly contagious illnesses, such as measles.

Protection from vaccinations extends beyond your child, as well. Some children with allergies, weakened immune systems or other health concerns may not be able to receive them.

Elementary school-age children should be up-to-date on the following immunizations:

  • MMR – protects against measles, mumps and rubella
  • IPV – protects against polio
  • Varicella – protects against chickenpox and lowers your child's risk of developing shingles later in life
  • Influenza – protects against the flu each year
  • DTaP – protects against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Hib – protects against Haemophilus influenza type b, a bacterial infection that can cause lifelong disability or even death
  • PCV13 – protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal bacteria
  • Hep B – protects against the hepatitis B virus

Older children ages 11 to 12 should receive the first dose of the MCV4 vaccine, which protects against four strains of meningococcal disease and is given in two doses. A second dose is typically given between ages 16 and 18. The HPV vaccine protects children from the types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause most cases of cervical cancer and is given in three doses over a six-month period to both boys and girls between ages 11 and 26.

Did you know?

Parents of new babies also need pertussis boosters, as infants are too young to be vaccinated against this potentially serious illness. Mothers should receive this booster during the third trimester of pregnancy.

To find a provider, visit UnityPoint Clinic today.