Vaccinations for Back to School

Are your child’s vaccine records up to date? Vaccinations aren’t just meant to keep your child safe, but to keep your family, other children, and their families safe as well. Since another school year has arrived, it’s time once again to start thinking about vaccinations. Whether your child is in preschool, elementary school, high school, or college, they need to receive vaccines.

You might be wondering why vaccinations are so important. Keeping up with vaccinations can help keep your child, family, and community healthy. The immunizations that come from receiving vaccines help prevent the outbreak of serious and sometimes life-threatening viruses and diseases.

Vaccinations help reduce outbreaks of once common diseases to the point of near eradication. The occurrence of serious diseases such as polio, whooping cough, and tetanus have decreased substantially since the introduction of vaccinations. According to the World Health Organization, cases of polio have decreased 99% since the founding of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Vaccinations make the entire population safer.

Some parents think that if their children aren’t in public schools or daycare, they do not need to receive vaccinations. This is not true. It’s important for all school children to receive the proper immunization shots, regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in public schools. In fact, most state laws — including Arkansas laws –require that children enrolled in private school and daycare receive vaccinations.

We use the recommended immunization schedule, because this is the best way to protect your child and the community. If your child is not vaccinated and all the other children are, your child will not face much risk, because he or she will be isolated from infected people. However, if more children choose not to vaccinate, that protection is weakened. Another unvaccinated child may bring a contagious disease back to your community, and you unvaccinated child will have no protection. The more unvaccinated children there are, the more the community is in danger.

Has your child somehow missed a vaccination? Don’t worry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have put together catch-up immunization schedules that your physician can use to get your child back on the right track.