School Vaccines: Are Your Children Protected?
Amidst the rush of buying back-to-school clothing and supplies, don’t overlook one important school requirement: vaccines. Be sure you know North Carolina vaccine requirements before the first day of school, especially if your child is entering kindergarten or seventh grade.
Vaccines protect the health of your child in several important ways, including:
- Reduce the Chance of Serious Illness -Vaccines work with your body’s natural defense to reduce the chances of getting certain diseases
- Reduce Complications from Illness – Even if your child does contract a disease after vaccinations, such as chickenpox, the vaccine will reduce chances of complications from the disease.
- Protect Others – Vaccines reduce the chance of spreading certain diseases. Infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems (like those undergoing cancer treatment) are especially vulnerable to vaccine- preventable diseases.
NC Kindergarten Vaccine Requirements
Students entering kindergarten in North Carolina must have the following vaccinations:
- Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) – 5 doses
- Polio – 4 doses
- Measles – 2 doses
- Mumps – 2 doses
- Rubella – 2 doses
- Haemophilus Influenzae type B (Hib) – 4 doses
- Hepatitis B – 3 doses
- Varicella (chickenpox) – 2 doses
Vaccines for Teens and Preteens
Some of the vaccines that babies get can wear off as kids get older. And as kids grow up they may come in contact with different diseases than when they were babies. Teens and preteens should receive the following vaccines:
- Td/Tdap – This vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) and is required for those entering seventh grade or by age 12, whichever comes first.
- Meningococcal – One dose is required for those between the ages of 11 and 12, and a second dose is required at age 16. The CDC now also recommends (but does not require) two doses of the Meningitis B vaccine. Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but teens and young adults are at increased risk. Meningococcal bacteria can cause severe disease, including meningitis and sepsis, resulting in permanent disabilities and even death.
- HPV – While this vaccine is not required by the state, it prevents infection with the most harmful kinds of human papillomavirus (also called HPV) and is recommended at age 11 or 12. The three-dose HPV vaccine is safe, effective, and can protect people from most of the cancers caused by HPV and genital warts.
- Flu – A flu vaccine is recommended every year to protect against seasonal flu.
Vaccines for Mom and Dad
Vaccines aren’t just for children, and while adult vaccines are not tied to the school schedule, they are just as important. Some vaccines are recommended for all adults, while others are based on your age, health conditions, and other factors. Talk to your doctor about vaccines you may need.
Need to Schedule a Vaccine?
Family practice physicians at LeBauer take care of children, teens and adults. If your child needs a healthcare provider or vaccines, contact us today. Our experienced family practice teams offer care in six locations throughout the Triad. Request an appointment today.