Back to School Vaccines – What Parents Need to Know
The beginning of the new school year is upon us, and whether your child is new to the area or is starting at a new school, vaccines are a requirement. While Cumberland County Schools will give parents thirty days from the first day of enrollment to meet the immunization requirement, they are necessary nonetheless.
Seven vaccines are required by Cumberland County Schools. Depending on the child’s age, some may not yet be required. Here are the seven vaccines you can expect your K-12 child to receive to enroll in Cumberland County Schools this year or in years to come.
Vaccine Requirements for Cumberland County Schools
The Varicella vaccine protects against chickenpox, which is a common childhood illness. While it is usually a mild illness, serious complications can occur, and it is highly contagious. Perhaps you remember contracting chickenpox as a child? Should a vaccinated child get chickenpox, the duration of the illness is lessened, as is the risk of complications from the disease. The vaccine is typically administered in two doses. The first dose is administered at 12 through 15 months. The second dose is administered between 4 to 6 years old (just in time for kindergarten)!
DTaP or Tdap vaccine
The DTaP and the TdaP vaccine are combination vaccines that protect against three different diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Depending on the child’s age, the DTaP or Tdap may be administered. The DTaP vaccine comes in a series of five doses that begins at two months of age. It is then given at four months, six months, between 15-18 months and between 4 to 6 years (also just in time for entering kindergarten)! The vaccine’s efficacy wears off with age. As such, a booster is necessary. The booster is called Tdap and is required for children in middle and high school who have completed the DTaP series. Cumberland County Schools require that entering seventh graders receive the Tdap vaccine.
The meningococcal vaccine protects children against meningitis. Cumberland County Schools require that entering seventh graders (or by 12 years of age) receive their first vaccine. Their second dose (booster) should be administered at 16 years old.
The Polio vaccine, also known as IPV is administered in four doses and protects children against Polio. The first dose is recommended at two months of age. Subsequent doses are administered at four months, between 6-18 months, and again between 4 to 6 years of age.
MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella)
The MMR vaccine protects against Measles, Mumps, and Rubella. This vaccine is administered in a series of two doses. The first dose is typically given between 12-15 months. The second dose is administered between the ages of 4 to 6.
The Hepatitis-B vaccine protects against the hepatitis B virus, which affects the liver and can lead to a serious, lifetime illness. The vaccine comes in a series of 3 doses. The first dose is typically administered at birth while in the hospital. The second dose is administered between 1 to 2 months of age. The third dose is given between 6 to 18 months of age. The hepatitis B vaccine is required for children entering kindergarten through second grade.
The Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine protects against bacterial meningitis and is administered in a series of four doses. The first dose is given at two months of age. Subsequent doses are administered at four months, six months and between 12-15 months of age. The Hib vaccine is required for children entering kindergarten through second grade.
Well child examinations are an important part of keeping your child healthy. They not only allow your pediatrician to administer necessary vaccines, but they can also help detect and diagnose illnesses at an early age. If your child is due for their vaccines, please call our office to schedule an appointment.