9 Vaccinations Your Child Needs for School
As the school year comes to a close, it’s a good time to begin thinking about required public school vaccinations. In July of last year, the North Carolina General Legislation passed new statutes that require immunizations for every rising kindergarten and seventh grader in the state, unless there is a medical or religious exemption.
These vaccinations need to be given before a child can begin school in the fall. It is best to go ahead and schedule these visits with your child’s pediatrician in the event that their appointment schedule fills up or vaccines run low. Most vaccines are administered in multiple doses, beginning in the first year of life, with completion of some vaccine series within the first 4-5 years of life, with boosters needed as they get older.
Here is a list of vaccinations that North Carolina requires:
7th Grade (if not already vaccinated):
- Tdap (Diptheria, tetanus and pertussis) – 5 doses before school entry
- Polio – 4 doses before school entry
- Measles – 2 doses before school entry
- Mumps – 2 doses before school entry
- Rubella – 1 dose before school entry
- Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae type B (Hib) – 4 doses before school entry
- Chickenpox - 1 dose before school entry
- Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis – 1 dose
- Meningococcal Conjugate – 1 dose before school entry
Although vaccine-preventable diseases have become extremely rare, outbreaks can still happen. Vaccines work by introducing components of the organism to your child and helping them build an immunity against the disease, reducing their ability to cause illness if your child is exposed later in life. The best way to protect your child and your community is to keep all recommended vaccinations up-to-date.
It may seem early to start thinking about the next school year. However, summer is a great time to make sure your child sees their health care provider for a wellness check. While there, ask if your children are up-to-date on their required vaccinations. If not, take care of it before the back-to-school rush.
For more information regarding required vaccines please visit:
The NC official website regarding vaccines and school requirements http://www.immunize.nc.gov/schools/k-12.htm
About the Author
Kavi Gnanasekaran, MD is a pediatrician at Reidsville Pediatrics, a Cone Health Medical Group practice.