Story by: Norton Children’s on August 25, 2022
Back-to-school season is a good time to catch up on your child’s immunizations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more children have fallen behind on vaccines since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In the 2020-2021 school year, the CDC reported that fewer kindergartners were getting vaccinated, with an overall decline in childhood immunizations since the start of the pandemic.
Get caught up on your child’s vaccinations by seeing one of our pediatricians, with offices conveniently located across Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
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COVID-19 caused many disruptions for children and families, and as a result, parents may have put routine well-child visits for their kids on hold. Preparing to go back to school is the perfect time to check back in with your child’s pediatrician.
“If your child missed a vaccine, or if they’re due, don’t hesitate to make an appointment,” said Heather M. Felton, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group. “There is no judgment in having missed a well-child appointment during the pandemic. Pediatricians want to help children be safe and healthy when heading back to school.”
States, including Kentucky and Indiana, have immunization laws and regulations in place for students who attend school. School vaccine requirements exist to help keep highly contagious diseases, such as measles, whooping cough, polio and hepatitis B, from appearing and spreading within schools and communities. Older children and teens should be immunized against serious diseases such as meningitis — a requirement to attend many colleges and universities.
COVID-19 vaccines also are available for any child ages 6 months and older at your child’s pediatrician or primary care provider’s office. Vaccines are tested to ensure that they are safe and effective for children. Vaccines also are monitored by the U.S. vaccine safety monitoring system.
“If you have any concerns about vaccines or their outcomes, ask us,” Dr. Felton said. “We want to understand your concerns and help address any hesitancy you may have.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers suggested vaccine schedules for children by age:
Talk to your child’s pediatrician or health care provider about catching up if you’ve noticed your child has missed a vaccine.