The kids are having a fun summer, and the coming school year is not even on their radar at this point. But the reality is that the school year is approaching quickly and, as it does, parents will be looking ahead to what will be required for the new school year.
One of these considerations is making sure your child is properly immunized to be allowed to enter school. Your pediatrician will, of course, be diligent about these vaccines, but as parents, we need to know which are required, which are recommended, and what immunizations are being given to our child for the appropriate years of age.
There is a debate in this country regarding immunizations and whether or not they are causing more harm than good. This article is not intended to comment on either side of that debate. We simply want to ensure that you, as a parent, are informed of the US Immunization Schedule.
Required Immunizations For US Schools
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an easy to read downloadable version of scheduled vaccines for each child’s age. The required vaccines include:
Others are categorized as recommended.
For children from 4 to 6 years the required vaccines are DTaP, IPV, MMR, and Varicella. DTaP combines protection against Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis. IPV protects against Polio. MMR is given to fight Measles, Mumps, and Rubella. Varicella is the vaccine for Chickenpox.
The Flu Vaccine
Highly recommended by the CDC is the Influenza shot given yearly for ages 6 months and up. Please note that recently the CDC released a statement that the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) also known as the “nasal spray” flu vaccine should NOT be given for during the 2016-2017 flu season. So, when immunizing your child this year, please discuss your options carefully with his/her pediatrician.
Up to this age, of course, the child would have been given various immunizations from infancy into school age. PCV (protection against Pneumococcus) and RV (Rotavirus) among others would have been administered. Also, the DTaP would have already been given (years 4-6 a booster is required). But since we are looking at school age children in this piece, we are limiting the requirements to them.
Vaccines For Older Children
Preteens need to get one shot of a DTaP booster (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis) at age 11 or 12 years.
Both boys and girls should receive 3 doses of HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine. HPV is most common in people in their teens and early 20s.
In addition, all 11 and 12 year olds may receive a single dose of a Quadrivalent Meningococcal Conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) with a booster recommended at age 16. This is to prevent a disease caused by bacteria infecting the brain and spinal cord.
Other shots are listed for 7 to 18 year olds if they were not given in early childhood. Vaccines such as Hepatitis A and B and Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B) were to be given in the earlier years, but if were not, can be given in later years in order to catch up.
As can be seen, there is quite a number of important immunizations needed for your child. We at Aero Jet Medical strive to keep you, the public, informed on what is required to keep your child healthy and safe in their new school year. Have a wonderful year of exciting, healthy learning!
photo credit: Illustrated Norman Rockwell Magazine Cover, "Before the Shot," Saturday Evening Post, 1958 via photopin