Back-to-school season is here. It’s time for parents to gather school supplies and backpacks. It’s also the perfect time to make sure you and your children are up to date on their vaccines to limit various illnesses. Child care facilities, preschool programs, schools and colleges are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs, and other factors such as interacting in crowded environments.
When children and teens are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to their families. What’s more, the need for vaccinations does not end in childhood. Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives based on age, lifestyle, occupation, travel destinations, medical conditions, and vaccines received in the past.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) updates vaccine recommendations for adults each year based on the latest research on vaccine safety, effectiveness, and patterns of vaccine-preventable diseases. ACIP’s vaccination recommendations are reviewed and approved by professional medical provider organizations, including the American College of Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and American College of Nurse-Midwives.
- Recommended schedule for children Birth to 6 years old: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf
- Recommended schedule for children 7 to 18 years old: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/teen/parent-version-sch...
- Vaccinations for adults: http://www.immunize.org/handouts/adult-vaccination.asp#patientschedules
- Go-to resources for learning more about vaccinations: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4012.pdf
Talk to your family doctor to find out which vaccines are recommended before going back to school. Let’s all work together to maintain healthy environments.