Back to School Vaccines

The kids are back in school and they should have gotten all of their vaccines before heading into the classroom.

“You can come in anytime for your well check. If your kid’s birthday is in March, you can come in March and do their well check and any vaccines they need. It’s not something they need to wait until the summer and if you do that, we can print out the paperwork,” said Dr. Nicole Carter, General Pediatrician at EAMC Pediatric Clinic.

But, there might be four shots that were not on your radar.

The first should be a tetanus shot.

“The biggest one you’ll hear about for your 11-year-old kids going into 6th grade, the one they have to have before school, is the TDAP for tetanus, diphtheria and whopping cough. It’s the most important for school entry,” said Dr. Carter.

Dr. Carter said she’s glad that this one is a requirement because she can now remind parents about the other important ones.

“That gets families into to see us and then we can talk about the other vaccines that are important while they are getting their tetanus. So. it’s helpful for us to get kids in here at 11,” said Dr. Carter.

There’s two others they recommend strongly.

The meningitis shot.

“One is called the menactra, it protects against a form of bacterial meningitis, which is very, very serious and can be deadly. You get one at 11 and a booster at 16 and that is necessary for college entry,” said Dr. Carter.

Also, the HPV shot.

“Or the Gardasil vaccine. We call that the anti-cancer vaccine. That virus causes cancer in girls and boys and the vaccine protects against that,” said Dr. Carter.

It’s a two dose shot if you get it before 15.

If not, then it’s a three dose series.

“One, we know it’s more effective the earlier you get it. Two, you get one less dose if you start it earlier. So, we like to start it at 11 if we can,” said Dr. Carter.

And it’s never to early to get your flu shot.

“It doesn’t always protect against the flu, but it does protect against serious outcomes. Like children ending up on a ventilator or something more serious. So, it doesn’t always prevent the flu, but it protects against things getting worse. Or, if they have asthma, or heart disease or a chronic illness, they can get very sick with the flu. So, we want to vaccine all of them too,”said Dr. Carter.

A couple years ago, the flu mist came out for those who hate getting shots, but unfortunately, the American Academy of Pediatrics said it’s not effective again this year.

All important to keep your kids healthy and safe during the new school year.

Categories: Alabama News