As summer comes to an end, many parents are preparing their children for the upcoming school year by getting their back-to-school vaccinations.
School-aged individuals, from preschoolers to college students, are required to receive specific vaccinations at different points during their educational experience – before kindergarten/first grade, middle school/sixth grade and college.
The kindergarten required vaccines include Polio, DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis), MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella), Hepatitis B and Varicella (Chickenpox).
The only sixth-grade required vaccine is Tdap (Pertussis Booster). The HPV (Human Papillomavirus) for girls and boys is highly recommended.
College students are required to receive the Meningococcal vaccine.
The recommendations for immunizations are a consensus of The Advisory Committee on Immunizations of the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics and Family Practice.
Immunization laws and regulations have been put in place to protect everyone. Although these vaccinations are required in Virginia, there are exemptions available for medical, religious and philosophic reasons.
“The medical community strongly encourages parents to have their children immunized. In communities with low immunization rates, infectious diseases such as measles have reappeared with the potential for severe consequences.”
The most at-risk children for diseases are those who have not been vaccinated. They have no immunity.
Vaccinations are available at Family Physicians of Chester located at 12801 Ironbridge Rd., Suite 200. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 748-9071.