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Back to School: National Immunization Awareness Month

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Back to School: National Immunization Awareness Month

Going back to school each year usually means school supply shopping, buying uniforms/school clothes, and getting back into a routine. As the first day approaches, do not forget a vital step in preparing for your child’s return to school: vaccines and immunizations.  

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. This month is meant to bring awareness to the importance of receiving vaccines in all stages of life. With school starting soon, it is the perfect time for children to have their well-child checkup and routine vaccinations. 

Many children missed checkups and vaccinations during the past two years due to the impact of COVID-19. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), “The national vaccination coverage among kindergarten children during the 2020-2021 school year dropped by about 1% from the previous year— that amounts to 35,000 more children without vaccination documents.” 

What Makes Well-Child Checkups Important? 

  • This is how a doctor checks a child’s growth and development 
  • During a checkup is the perfect time for parents/caregivers to ask any questions they may have  
  • A perfect time to get routine vaccinations before heading back to school 

Vaccines Protect Your Child’s Health  

  • Routine vaccinations during childhood help prevent 14 diseases 
  • Following the recommended vaccination schedule provides protection early in life before children are exposed to harmful diseases like measles and whooping cough  
  • Vaccines are safe and effective and help protect your child and community 
  • Vaccination is the best protection against vaccine-preventable diseases 

 

What are the 14 Recommended Vaccinations for Children? 

  1. Chickenpox – Varicella Vaccine
  2. Diphtheria – DTaP vaccine
  3. Hib – Hib vaccine
  4. Hepatitis A – HepA vaccine
  5. Hepatitis B – HepB vaccine
  6. Influenza – Flu vaccine
  7. Measles – MMR Vaccine
  8. Mumps – MMR vaccine
  9. Pertussis (Whooping Cough) – DTaP vaccine
  10. Polio – IPV vaccine
  11. Pneumococcal – PCV13 vaccine
  12. Rotavirus – RV vaccine
  13. Rubella – MMR vaccine
  14. Tetanus – DTaP vaccine

Most schools and childcare facilities require certain vaccines before enrollment. Each state decides which vaccines are required. If you would like to know what immunizations are required for your state, check with school staff members or through your State Health Department.  

If you’re enrolled in AFSPA’s Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP), routine immunizations are covered. If you wish to learn more about the FSBP, click here. 

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