We may be savoring the heart of summer, but the start of school is just
around the corner. And if your kids play sports, first practice is just
weeks away. That’s why it’s time to play safe, be prepared
and get your kids vaccinated for the new school year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Making
sure that children receive all their vaccinations on time is one of the
most important things you can do as a parent to ensure your children's
long-term health—as well as the health of friends, classmates, and
others in your community.”
In fact, the Department of Public Health and Human Services has developed
strict regulations require infants and children to have up-to-date vaccinations
before they can enroll in public or private childcare facilities and schools
“Thanks to vaccines, most children in our country are safe from infections
that used to cause serious suffering and death,” said Juliet Hansen,
MD, of Bozeman Health Pediatrics Clinic, “but immunization remains
important to keep these diseases at bay. The start of the school year
is a good time to make sure your children's vaccines are up to date.”
For children entering pre-school, required vaccinations are:
3 doses Hib (Haemophilus Influenza Type B)
4 doses DTaP (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis)
3 doses IPV or OPV (Polio)
1 dose MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella)
1 dose Varicella (Chicken Pox)
The schedule of vaccinations for children entering grades Kindergarten-12
varies, depending on the age at which they received previous vaccinations.
Children generally need five doses of DTaP (but only 4 doses if the 4th dose was administered after their 4th birthday), plus one additional dose (called Tdap) prior to entering 7th grade. They also need 4 doses of IPV or OPV (but only 3 doses if the 3rd dose was given after age 4).
For MMR and Varicella, the first dose is administered after age one, and
a second dose is given before Kindergarten. However, if the first MMR
inoculation is given after age five, the second shot is given 4 weeks
later. With Varicella, if the first dose is given after age five, the
second dose is needed 12 weeks later for children under age 13. For children
older than age 13, the second shot should be administered only 4 weeks later.
Additionally, Dr. Hansen recommends preteens and teens should also be immunized
against Meningococcus, Hepatitis A, HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and Influenza.
Preteens and teens typically see their doctors or other health care professionals
for physicals before participating in sports, travel, or heading off to
college. You can beat the back to school rush and use these opportunities
to get your preteen or teen vaccinated today.
The pediatricians and family medicine physicians at Bozeman Health can
provide all the immunizations required for school attendance. For more