When It Comes to School Vaccinations, The Story Is a Lot Bigger Than COVID-19
Even if your child will start school online during the pandemic, New Jersey requires all students to be vaccinated against a range of preventable diseases. Here’s what your children need for every grade.
By Dr. Don Liss, Vice President & Chief Medical Officer
As the school year begins in-person or online, COVID-19 shouldn’t be a parent’s only health concern. Measles, mumps and whooping cough, for example, can also affect school-age children, and all can be deadly. Fortunately, these can also be prevented with a vaccine.
Whether your child is going to attend classes physically or remotely, immunizations serve to protect your child and your community—and save lives. That’s why the New Jersey Department of Health requires all students enrolled in a school or daycare center to receive the immunizations published in the Immunization of Pupils in School rules. During the pandemic, many families have delayed getting immunizations, putting children at greater risk of catching preventable illnesses.
Vaccines are one of the best ways to keep everyone healthy and lessen the burden on our health care system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccine-preventable diseases can lead to a greater number of visits to the doctor’s office, hospitalizations and premature deaths.
Ask your pediatrician if your child is up-to-date on vaccinations. Pediatricians are scheduling appointments, so make one and make sure your children – and others with whom they are in contact - are protected. And as the flu season approaches, be sure to ask your pediatrician, as well as your primary doctor, about scheduling a flu vaccination to keep you and your family safe.
We can’t allow a pandemic of COVID-19 to be compounded by an epidemic of childhood diseases brought on by missed vaccinations. To learn about the doses required for students in each grade, check out the chart below.