Summer is winding down. The first day of school is just around the corner. One of the most important things a parent can do to help children get ready for school and protect their health is to get your child vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule. Being up-to-date on vaccinations also protect the health of classmates and the wider community.
Those needing vaccines usually include:
A baby starting child care;
A toddler heading to preschool;
A student going back to elementary, middle or high school; or
Even a college freshman.
Parents can use check their child’s vaccination record at https://izrecord.nv.gov. Nevada law requires certain vaccines for childcare, school and university entry; unless excused by religious belief or medical condition.
What vaccines are recommended?
Children age 4 years old are due for boosters of four vaccines: DTaP, chickenpox, MMR and polio.
Older children, like pre-teens and teens, need Tdap, HPV, and MenACWY vaccines.
Additionally, yearly flu vaccines are recommended for all children 6 months and older.
Not all of these are required for school entry, but they are still important in keeping your child healthy and protected all year round.
Nevada’s vaccine requirements are crucial in giving students a strong start to keep them healthy and able to learn at school. Without vaccines, serious health consequences can arise and disease can easily spread to others in play groups, child care centers, classrooms and communities. At risk are babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions. Getting sick can also lead to missed school days, missed work for parents, hospitalization and even death.
Parents have easy to access immunization resources right here in Carson City. Carson City Health and Human Services is open every Thursday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m. on a walk-in basis for vaccines. Special back-to-school Immunization Days will be held at 900 E. Long St. from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 12 to 16 on a walk-in basis. They take Medicaid as well as most private insurance plans. The Vaccine for Children’s Program can help those who are uninsured, underinsured, American Indian or Alaska Native with no cost vaccines. In these instances, an administration fee does apply, but no one will be turned away for the inability to pay.
Parents can also call for an appointment at the Carson City School-based health center (open Tuesday and Thursdays), Nevada Health Centers or their child’s private doctor. We encourage you to not wait as lines and wait times increase the closer it is to the first day of school.
For additional resources and information about back to school, visit https://immunizenevada.org/back2school or follow Immunize Nevada on social media.
This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.