The new school year is right around the corner—along with the backpacks, pencils, and other supplies needed for learning, make sure that your child has all of his or her immunizations. Not only do the recommended vaccines help to protect your child from serious and potentially deadly illnesses, but they also help contain any outbreaks in schools and the community. Below are some of the vaccines that are necessary for different age groups returning to classes in the fall.
Birth to Six Years of Age
The immunizations that healthy children receive in their first years of life help to protect against illnesses such as hepatitis B, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, and tetanus. California requires that children in private or public school be immunized for polio, DPT, MMR, Hepatitis B and Varicella. Making sure your child has protection against these illnesses also protects others who may not be able to be vaccinated, such as very young infants, cancer patients, or other immunosuppressed populations. Annual flu vaccines are also recommended for children aged six months and older to protect children against flu viruses that emerge each year.
Seven to Eighteen Years of Age
As children age, their immunity from past vaccinations can begin to wear off. Ask your doctor when your child may be ready for a booster vaccine to protect from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap). California requires a Tdap booster for students entering seventh grade. Teens on their way to college should also get a vaccine to protect against meningococcal meningitis, as the risk for this illness increases when living in dorm housing.
Even if your child misses a vaccine from the recommended schedule, an experienced physician can help you to get him or her back on track for maximum protection from disease. To locate a physician in the San Jose area, contact the Good Samaritan Hospital’s Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line today at (408) 559-2011. Our nurses can also provide answers to many healthcare questions.