Send Your Kids Back to School Healthy with this Vaccine Schedule

As we begin to say ‘goodbye’ to summer, most parents are sending their children back to school. Some children may be going for the first time, or some may be returning for another year. With all the back-to-school ads and commercials out there, it seems our focus turns more towards purchasing new backpacks, supplies, or clothes. However, it’s important not to overlook your child’s health as they get ready for school.

First, you can easily contact your children’s pediatrician, or physician, to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccines. If your child is entering school for the first time, they may require their vaccine records. And if you have little ones who aren’t quite school age yet, but are going to daycare or a sitter’s, it’s still important to make sure they’re up-to-date on their vaccines. One of the best ways to prevent the spread of disease is through immunizations and staying on top of a schedule for vaccines.

Ideal Schedule for Vaccines

Every child should receive the same vaccines according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations on schedule for vaccines. Some basic information on immunizations and an ideal schedule for vaccines include the following:

For Daycare-Age Children

1–2 months

  • Hepatitis B (HepB): At birth, or no later than one month of age.

2 months

  • Hepatitis B (HepB): The second dose should be given.
  • DTaP: Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine
  • Hib: Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine
  • IPV: Inactivated poliovirus vaccine
  • PCV: Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
  • RV: Rotavirus vaccine

4 months

  • DTaP
  • Hib
  • IPV
  • PCV
  • RV

6 months

  • DTaP
  • HepB: The third dose should be given.
  • IPV
  • Hib
  • PCV
  • RV: This third dose may be needed, depending on the brand of vaccine used in previous RV immunizations.

12 months

  • Prevnar
  • HepA: Hepatitis A vaccine; given as two shots at least 6 months apart

15 months

  • MMR: Measles, mumps, rubella
  • Varicella (VAR): Chicken Pox vaccine

18 months

  • HIB
  • IPV
  • DTaP
  • HepA: Hepatitis A vaccine; second dose given

For School-Age Children

4–6 years:

  • DTaP
  • MMR
  • IPV
  • Varicella - Chickenpox vaccine

11–12 years:

  • Tdap: Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis booster. 
  • Human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV): Adacel and Menactra
        - Age 9 - 14 years at initial vaccination: 2-dose series six months apart.
        - Age 15 years or older at initial vaccination: 3-dose series 
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine: A booster dose is recommended at age 16.

16–18 years

  • Meningococcal B vaccine (MenB): Mandatory for senior year of high school.

Annually beginning at 6 months of age:

  • The flu vaccine: First-time takers need two vaccines four weeks apart.

In addition to the above schedule for vaccines, the AAP recommends COVID vaccination for everyone six months and older. Children should get fully immunized as soon as they are eligible.

It is never too early or late to teach your children about good hygiene. Make sure they understand the importance of washing their hands with soap and warm water. This small action alone can help to prevent the spread of germs and viruses. Also, it is important to teach them to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze with their elbows and not their hands.

Even the best precautions, however, can’t prevent every illness. That’s why we have provided some helpful tips and information from Nataliya Bumagina, MD, pediatrics with Firelands Physician Group.

  • If your child becomes ill, it is important to keep them home from school. If your child has a fever greater than 100.4 degrees, he or she should stay home until the fever has subsided for 24 hours.  Of course, if they have other symptoms, they should be kept at home as well.  

If you're looking for a caring pediatrician, Dr. Bumagina is currently accepting new patients with most insurances. Call the office to verify insurance information and to schedule an appointment. Dr. Bumagina’s office is located at 2520 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, Ohio 44870. The office phone is: 419-625-4995.