Vaccinations should be on the ‘back to school’ check off list
On-time vaccinations throughout childhood are deemed essential according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, because they help provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Vaccines are tested to ensure that they are safe and effective for children to receive at the recommended ages.
“A lot of these illnesses we just don’t see anymore because people are vaccinated, I’ve never seen a case of tetanus, because we vaccinate against tetanus,” said Gregory Anderson, DO at Black Hills Pediatrics L.L.P. “We used to see a lot of B meningitis in kids but they came out with a vaccine about 20 years ago and now we rarely ever see it, which is great.”
More than one dose is necessary for many vaccines, to build and boost immunity. Because influenza viruses are constantly changing and the body’s immune response declines over time, everyone over the age of six months needs a flu shot every year.
“We are definitely recommending everyone get their influenza shots this year, especially with people having to miss work because of COVID, missing school because of COVID,” Anderson said. “Most places have it by the end of September – beginning of October.”
From ages four through six, your child needs additional doses of some vaccines, before entering Kindergarten as well as required vaccinations before entering sixth grade.
As protection from childhood vaccines wears off, adolescents need additional vaccines to extend protection and even adults need a TD vaccine every 10 years.
Dr. Anderson says there is a risk of side effects to any medicines, but the protection against disease is important for the heath of the individual and the community at large.
If your child has missed any vaccines, work with your doctor or nurse to make sure he or she gets caught up. Schedule an annual check-up visit with your child’s pediatrician.
You may need a certificate of immunization to enroll your child in school.
As your child heads to college, make sure all vaccinations are up to date and he or she has a copy of all immunization records.
Click here for a link to the CDC immunizations guidelines.