Memorial Day is just around the corner, and the school year is winding down; nevertheless, this is still the perfect time to pitch vaccinating your kids now, instead of waiting until the fall rush.
The importance of getting those shots can’t be overstated. The non-appearance of many of these diseases lulls all-too-many folks into thinking vaccines are no longer needed—and they can’t be more wrong.
In fact, just last year, a Montgomery County resident was diagnosed with measles after a visit to Malawi, Africa during a measles outbreak. More recently, three cases of the illness cropped up in neighboring Bucks County. And, as if that’s not enough, Lower Merion School District’s Cynwyd Elementary School reported a case of pertussis—whooping cough—in March.
As Kids Health puts it, “Although vaccination rates are fairly high in the United States, there’s no reliable way of knowing if everyone your child comes into contact with has been vaccinated, particularly now that so many people travel to and from other countries. So, the best way to protect your child is through immunization.”
In other words, be safe, not sorry. And remember that numerous studies have shown there is no link between vaccines and autism, so no excuses.
And why not do it now instead of waiting until you’re scrambling to pick up new school clothes and supplies in August? After all, the regulations have changed and will affect all students. For instance, current K-12 students needed only three doses of tetanus, three for diphtheria, and one for mumps, but those have each now been upped by one dose.
The 2011-12 K- 12 Pennsylvania School Immunization Requirements:
· 4 doses of tetanus* (one dose on or after the 4th birthday)
· 4 doses of diphtheria* (one dose on or after the 4th birthday)
· 3 doses of polio
· 2 doses of measles**
· 2 doses of mumps**
· 1 dose of rubella** (German measles)
· 3 doses of hepatitis B
· 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine or history of disease
* Usually given as DTP, DTaP,DT, or Td
** Usually given as MMR
Additionally, children ATTENDING 7th grade this fall require:
· 1 dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) (if 5 years have elapsed since last tetanus immunization)
· 1 dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV)
Get it done now and check immunizations off your school-wise to-do list even before summer vacation gets rolling, protecting one and all–especially your own.