For school kids, vaccines are key

August 7, 2018

(HealthDay)—Be sure to put vaccinations on your children's back-to-school lists, whether they're just starting school or heading off to college, experts say.

By protecting infants, children and teens from serious diseases, vaccinations also protect families, schools and communities.

"The best way to treat diseases is to prevent them in the first place, and the diseases on the schedule are all preventable for the vast majority of our population," said David Kimberlin, vice chair of pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

"The scientific evidence and public health statistics are comprehensive and compelling—properly scheduled and dosed vaccines are safe and effective, and they're the reason we don't see diseases like measles or whooping cough running rampant across our country," Kimberlin said in a university news release.

Kimberlin is the American Academy of Pediatrics' liaison to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advisory committee on immunization practices.

Immunization requirements vary by state. All have a minimum requirement for dosing each school year to attend public schools. Many require an updated immunization certificate before a child enters any public school or child care center.

Here's what else you should know:

  • All 50 and the District of Columbia require vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, polio, measles and rubella.
  • 49 states and D.C. also require mumps vaccination.
  • 48 states and D.C. require varicella (chickenpox) vaccination. (Montana and Pennsylvania do not).
  • 45 states and D.C. require hepatitis B vaccination to enter kindergarten. (Alabama, Maine, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota do not).
  • Some states require Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type b); PCV (pneumococcal); flu and hepatitits A vaccines to enter kindergarten.

Insurance covers school vaccinations. If you don't have insurance, your state health department can direct you to services that offer low-cost and/or free immunizations, said Dr. Rachael Lee, an assistant professor in the university's division of infectious diseases.

Vaccinations are available at doctor offices, pharmacies, health centers and local health departments.

College students require specific vaccinations and should check with their to learn which ones they need, the UAB experts said.

Life-threatening infections such as meningococcal are more common among college-age people, but can be prevented through full vaccination, the experts said.

Explore further: Time to catch up on reading, writing ... and routine shots

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on vaccines for children.

Related Stories

Time to catch up on reading, writing ... and routine shots

July 26, 2017
(HealthDay)—Of all the items on your child's back-to-school checklist, getting vaccinated is probably your kid's least favorite. But those shots are essential for keeping children healthy, pediatricians say.

Vaccination 101: make sure kids are up to date

August 28, 2017
(HealthDay)—As the new school year begins, make sure your child is up to date on all vaccinations.

Vaccinations belong on parents' back-to-school checklists

August 20, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Vaccinations among school-aged children can save lives and parents should be sure their children are fully immunized as part of their back-to-school preparations, according to a pediatric infectious disease ...

Kindergarten vaccines close to target levels: CDC

August 23, 2012
(HealthDay)—Most kindergarten children in the United States are up to date on their vaccinations, a new government report finds.

CDC: most kindergartners are getting their vaccinations

October 17, 2014
(HealthDay)—Most American children entering kindergarten are getting their required vaccinations, according to research published in the Oct. 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and ...

Study: More pre-teens get vaccines when middle schools require them

May 7, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Pre-teens living in states that require vaccinations for incoming middle school students are more likely to be immunized than those in states without such requirements, a new study finds.

Recommended for you

New hope for cystic fibrosis

October 19, 2018
A new triple-combination drug treatment being trialled at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane could increase the life expectancy of patients with cystic fibrosis.

Bug guts shed light on Central America Chagas disease

October 18, 2018
In Central America, Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, is spread by the "kissing bug" Triatoma dimidiata. By collecting DNA from the guts of these bugs, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases ...

Rapid genomic sequencing of Lassa virus in Nigeria enabled real-time response to 2018 outbreak

October 18, 2018
Mounting a collaborative, real-time response to a Lassa fever outbreak in early 2018, doctors and scientists in Nigeria teamed up with researchers at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and colleagues to rapidly sequence the ...

Researchers cure drug-resistant infections without antibiotics

October 17, 2018
Biochemists, microbiologists, drug discovery experts and infectious disease doctors have teamed up in a new study that shows antibiotics are not always necessary to cure sepsis in mice. Instead of killing causative bacteria ...

Infectious disease consultation significantly reduces mortality of patients with bloodstream yeast infections

October 17, 2018
In a retrospective cohort study conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Infectious Diseases, patients with candidemia—a yeast infection in the bloodstream—had more positive outcomes as they relate ...

How drug resistant TB evolved and spread globally

October 17, 2018
The most common form of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) originated in Europe and spread to Asia, Africa and the Americas with European explorers and colonialists, reveals a new study led by UCL and the Norwegian Institute ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.