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Back to school reminder: Parents urged to make sure children’s immunizations are current

As students across the region prepare to return to school in September, parents are encouraged to make sure their children’s immunizations are up to date. In New York state, several immunizations are required within 14 days of the first day of school or child care.

For school attendance, child care and pre-K, students need:

  • Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine (DTaP or Tdap)
  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine
  • Polio vaccine
  • Chickenpox vaccine

Additional vaccines are required for middle school and high school students:

  • Tdap vaccine for grades 6-12
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) for grades 7-12 (students in grade 12 need an additional booster dose of MenACWY on or after their 16th birthday)

Public health officials also urge parents to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19, as the vaccines are the best protection against severe illness or hospitalization from the disease. Children from six months to young adults up to age 18 are now eligible to receive the shots. Talk to your pediatrician if you have questions about the COVID vaccine or kids’ booster doses, or visit here.

Dr. Linda Clark, chief medical officer at Common Ground Health, said, “Going back to school is an exciting time for many students. To make sure they can return to the classroom, parents need to ensure that their children’s immunizations are current. If not, they should schedule appointments with their physician as soon as possible. If they aren’t sure, they should check with their pediatrician or primary care doctor.”

Children attending day care and pre-K through 12th grade in New York state must receive all required doses of vaccines on the recommended schedule in order to attend or remain in school. Parents need to show proof of their child’s up-to-date vaccinations or provide a valid medical exemption from vaccination.