Back-to-school season is here. It’s time for parents to gather supplies and back packs. It’s also the perfect time to make sure your kids are up to date on their vaccines.
To celebrate the importance of immunizations throughout life – and make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need – Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics (ACHP) is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month.
“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,” said Dr. Shellie Russell, a pediatrician at ACHP Wooster. “If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to check with your doctor to find out what vaccines your child needs.”
Most schools require children to be current on vaccinations before enrolling to protect the health of all students. Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles and whooping cough.
When children aren’t vaccinated, they are at increased risk 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 or other health conditions.
Younger children 4 to 6 years old are due for boosters of 4 vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and polio.
Older children, like preteens and teens, need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), MenACWY (meningococcal conjugate vaccine) and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines when they are 11 to 12. Yearly flu vaccines are also recommended for children 6 months and older.
Parents of current ACHP patients with a MyChart account can now access their child’s immunization record in MyChart. If you don’t have MyChart, call the office to learn how to sign up or ask for a copy of the record.