CSHD give back-to-school immunization advice
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - School will be back in session around the Valley in the coming weeks.
After recent years have brought health concerns to many households, it’s time to make sure children are up to date on their immunizations before heading back to the classroom.
The Central Shenandoah Health District said in the past few years it has seen a drop in kids getting their routine vaccines. However, now that many return to full-time in-person learning, the health district said more people are scheduling back-to-school immunization appointments.
‘We have noticed an uptick in appointments and I think that everybody is pretty much back on track because they can’t enter school without their vaccines,” Marsha Rodeffer, nurse manager for Central Shenandoah Health District, said. “We’ve worked really hard with the local school systems to get everyone caught up from when things were virtual.”
The Virginia Department of Health said kids going into kindergarten are required to have the most immunizations before starting school, with nine total.
There are three more needed before starting seventh grade and one for 12th graders, which started last year.
”Check with your pediatrician or your family doctor to see if they can offer everything you need, but if in some cases they don’t, we do have that available here so we encourage everyone to call and make an appointment here and we can get everything you need for school entry right in the health department,” Rodeffer said.
As for other vaccines, VDH doesn’t require COVID vaccines but recommends children get them. They also recommend getting the flu vaccine every year.
“Flu vaccines typically come out in September so we don’t have this coming year’s doses available to us yet so keep an eye out,” Rodeffer said.
Many vaccines such as T-Dap have been a requirement for years.
However, VDH said some, like two doses of the HPV vaccine, just went into effect in July 2021.
Rodeffer said to reach out to your child’s school nurse if you are unsure if they meet the requirements to start school.
For a full list of vaccination requirements per age group, visit the VDH’s website.
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