Vaccines are not just for kids. As you get your children ready to go back to school, it’s important to remember teens and even college students should also get the recommended vaccines, health officials say.
“All parents should make sure their children and teens are up-to-date with their immunizations,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, child health medical officer for the County Health and Human Services Agency. “Vaccines not only protect your children but also those around them. Immunizations prevent many diseases, disability, and death.”
Vaccinations are the best way to protect communities and schools from outbreaks that can cause unnecessary illnesses.
Newborns and children up to 6 years of age need vaccines to protect them from 14 serious and life-threatening diseases, including measles, meningitis and whooping cough.
Some vaccine-preventable diseases have become very rare in the United States thanks to vaccines. However, outbreaks still happen.
Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that in 2012, more than 41,000 cases of whooping cough, including 18 deaths, were reported across the United States. In 2011, measles sickened 220 people in the U.S., a higher number than usual.
Older children need vaccines too because they are at higher risk of catching certain diseases, like meningococcal meningitis.
In response to the 2010 whooping cough epidemic, all seventh grade students in the state now need to show proof of having received the Tdap booster shot or file a personal belief exemption with their school.
“No child or adolescent should suffer from vaccine-preventable diseases,” added Sidelinger. “Immunizations are among the most successful and cost-effective things parents can do to protect their children from serious disease.”
For more information on immunizations and the diseases they prevent, contact your health care provider or visit sdiz.org.
-County of San Diego news release