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As Kids Head Back to School, Keep them Protected and Put Vaccines on Your List

Date: 08/01/19

The end of summer is upon us and kids are going back to school. This year, as you put supplies like pens and pencils on your list, Health Net would like to remind you to add vaccinations.

"The best way to keep kids healthy and strong is to vaccinate them," says Dr. Alex Chen, Chief Medical Officer at Health Net. "It sounds simple enough, yet many parents are still doubtful about vaccines and their efficacy."

Vaccines do more to prepare students than just keeping them healthy and safe from disease. Vaccinations protect the long-term health of your kids, their classmates and their teachers. With the recent outbreak of measles and Pertussis (whooping cough) in California, vaccines are even more critical. Importantly, California schools require current vaccination.

Here is what you should know:

  1. Vaccines are safe. They are far safer than the harmful, and even deadly, diseases your child can get. Experts agree on this, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization.
  2. Vaccines prevent serious illness. They prevent measles, whooping cough, chicken pox and other diseases. Without them, your child could end up seriously ill, or in the hospital.
  3. Vaccines do not cause Autism. Studies have shown that there is no link between vaccines and Autism. This and more information on vaccine safety can be found through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Age-based vaccines

Follow the recommended vaccine timeline to ensure effectiveness:

By age two:

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTaP) — 4 doses
  • Polio (IPV) — 3 doses
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B) — 3 doses
  • Hepatitis A (Hep A) — 2 doses
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) — 1 dose
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) — 1 dose
  • Rotavirus (RV) — 3 doses
  • Pneumococcal (PV13) — 4 doses
  • Influenza (Flu) — 2 doses in one flu season

Note: Children 6 months and older should get yearly influenza (Flu) vaccine.

4-6 years old:

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTaP) — 1 dose
  • Polio (IPV) — 1 doses
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) — 1 dose
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) — 1 dose

11-13 years old:

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (Tdap) — 1 dose
  • Meningococcal (MenACWY) — 1 dose
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) — 2 doses

If your child has missed any vaccines, the CDC provides a catch-up immunization schedule to get them back on track. This year, make sure your kids are up-to-date before the back-to-school rush!

Last Updated: 07/13/2020