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Back to school? Vaccine time
Preparing for school is the perfect time to make sure children’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Getting all of the recommended vaccines is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health.
When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their classroom and community-including to babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and to people with weakened immune systems. Schools are highly susceptible to outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Children ages 4 to 6 and getting ready for kindergarten are due for boosters of four vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), Varicella (chickenpox), MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and polio. Older children need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), MCV (meningococcal conjugate virus) and HPV. College-age students need to be sure they are up-to-date on flu, meningococcal, HPV, and Tdap, as well. A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for all children 6 months and older.
Visit or call your health care provider or the San Juan County Public Health Department at 145 Rhone Street, Friday Harbor, 378-4474 about immunizations. For further information, visit the Immunization Action Coalition at www.vaccineinformation.org or www.immunize.org.