Required Immunizations for Your School-Age Child

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It’s that time of year, when immunizations are the talk of the school yard.  Why?  Schools require that children have certain immunizations by certain dates.  As parents, sometimes we need reminders to keep our children and the children of others protected.

According to Jill Juergensen, immunization coordinator in Greene County Medical Center’s public health department, “Your child is required to be fully immunized before entering any elementary or secondary school.”

Requirements include:

  • Children entering kindergarten: DTaP, IPV, Varicella, MMR
  • Children entering 7th grade: Tdap
  • Young adults entering college: Varied requirements based on college or university

Why these specific immunizations? 

DTaP stands for Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis.  The vaccine helps those younger than seven develop immunity to those three deadly diseases, all caused by bacteria – diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, better known as whooping cough.

IPV stands for Inactivated Polio Vaccine.  This vaccine is the one that can protect us from polio.  Polio, according to the Center for Disease and Control (CDC), “is caused by a virus that spreads mainly by person-to-person contact.”

Varicella.  This is the chicken pox vaccine.  The first dose is given at the 12-15 month stage and the second dose is given at the 4-6 year stage.  That second dose is for your kindergartener.

MMR is for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.  All three of these can cause a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms (fever, rash, diarrhea, headaches, etc.).  Complications can be life-threatening.  

Tdap is a booster immunization given as a follow-up to the DTaP vaccine.  It offers continued protection from diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis for young adults and adults.

Where to Learn More

Obviously, there is a lot to know and learn about vaccine requirements and recommendations.  You can find out more from the CDC’s website.

Information about immunization clinics at Greene County Medical Center and a full schedule of all recommended vaccines - for children and adults - can be found here.