TalentFIT: Back To School Health Awareness!

As discussed in last week’s TalentFIT blog, August is Immunization Awareness Month.

Believe it or not, summer is almost over and soon kids will be going back to school—and along with that come a few immunization requirements. What parents need to know is that the requirements aren’t the same in every state.

Here are the links to local department of health offices, so you can look up what your children’s required immunizations are:

Maryland Department of Health

Virginia Department of Health

District of Columbia Department of Health

Some of you may be asking why immunizations are still required in 2017. That’s simple: It’s because outbreaks can still happen.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

It’s true that some vaccine-preventable diseases have become very rare thanks to vaccines. However, cases and outbreaks still happen. The United States experienced a record number of measles cases during 2014, with 668 cases from 27 states reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000. From January 2 to July 22, 2016, there have been 48 cases of measles reported in the United States.

From January 1– June 13, 2016, almost 6,000 cases of whooping cough have been reported to CDC by 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Outbreaks of whooping cough at middle and high schools can occur as protection from childhood vaccines fades. Those who are vaccinated against whooping cough but still get the disease are more likely to have a mild illness compared to those who never received the vaccine.

Making sure your children stay up to date with vaccinations is the best way to help protect your communities and schools from outbreaks that can cause unnecessary illnesses and deaths.

Getting every recommended dose of each vaccine provides children with the best protection possible.

If you are unsure what immunizations your child needs, contact your family pediatrician. Now is the time to beat the end-of-summer rush and get your child vaccinated and ready to go back to school!

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