Don’t Forget Your Back-To-School Immunizations

Jul 12, 2023 at 03:53 pm by Matt

Don’t forget your back-to-school immunizations. As the new academic year draws closer, parents are getting ready to ensure their children are well-prepared for a successful journey in school. A vital part of this preparation includes getting their kids vaccinated, a topic that may not be met with enthusiasm by both children and parents alike. However, the importance of vaccines in safeguarding public health and their proven safety is highlighted by Dr. Heather Wardy, a pediatrician at Central Florida Health Clinic.

Dr. Wardy underscores the importance of these back-to-school immunizations for healthcare providers as they attempt to ensure children are up-to-date with their vaccinations, including the necessary school immunizations. The COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted vaccination schedules, leading to many children across the United States missing their vaccine shots. With restrictions now lifted, parents are urged to prioritize catching up on any missed vaccinations.

Vaccination Rates Experienced A Decline

According to Dr. Wardy, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination rates experienced a decline, further highlighting the significance of ensuring that children receive their back-to-school physicals and are up-to-date with their vaccines.

Though it is recommended that children have an annual physical with their pediatrician, the number of required immunizations greatly decreases after infancy. Dr. Wardy explains that for school-age children, key vaccination periods are before entering kindergarten, seventh grade, and again at 16 years old.

Pediatricians typically follow vaccine schedules recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These schedules are calculated based on scientific research, defining the ideal age for providing immunity against diseases while offering protection to children as early as possible.

The Importance Of Back-To-School Immunizations

Dr. Wardy stresses the importance of vaccinating all eligible children, stating, "Every child is strongly recommended to get all of their vaccines to protect them from vaccine-preventable illnesses and diseases." For some children with medical conditions keeping them from receiving certain vaccines, community immunity becomes vital. When enough children are vaccinated, it protects those who cannot receive specific vaccines because of pre-existing conditions.

Central Florida Health Clinic is devoted to providing extraordinary care and addressing any concerns parents may have regarding vaccines or other health-related issues. Doctors stay updated with the latest information on vaccines and illness prevention to oust any misconceptions parents might have encountered.

Polk County Public Schools mandate various vaccinations at different ages, including MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), Polio, DTP/DTaP (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus), Hepatitis B, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), and Varicella (chickenpox). Thanks to widespread vaccinations, diseases like polio, smallpox, and measles have been eradicated in the United States, greatly reducing harm to people, especially children.

Vaccines Are Safe

Dr. Wardy reassures parents that back-to-school immunizations are safe, thoroughly studied, and the benefits far outweigh any potential risks. By ensuring their children receive vaccinations, parents play a vital role in protecting their children and the broader community from preventable illnesses.

In conclusion, as parents prepare for the back-to-school season, the importance of back-to-school immunizations should not be postponed. Scheduling appointments with pediatricians for physicals and ensuring children are up-to-date on their immunizations contribute to a healthier and safer learning environment for all students. Vaccines have been instrumental in public health, eradicating once-debilitating diseases, and continue to play a critical role in safeguarding the well-being of our children and communities. Let's prioritize vaccination and ensure our children have a successful and healthy school year.

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