Healthy Living Blog – Immunizations for Kids & Teens: Part 2
Throughout childhood and adolescence, it’s important for parents and guardians to go to regular doctor check-ups to know what vaccines their child or teen needs to receive. Back-to-school season is a good time for parents to check that their child(ren)’s immunizations are up-to-date.
Vaccines for children & teens ages 4 years to 18 years
California law requires that all school-aged children and teens are immunized. These vaccines are usually given before entering elementary, middle, or high school.
⊗ Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (DTaP)
⊗ Inactivated poliovirus
⊗ Flu vaccine: 1 yearly dose
⊗ Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
⊗ Varicella (chickenpox virus)
⊗ Tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap)
⊗ Human papillomavirus (HPV)
⊗ Meningococcal ACWY
Why might children and teens be falling behind on their vaccinations?
It’s harder for some children and teens to receive their vaccinations on time. This is because they might not have insurance and/or live in a low-income household. These situations make it harder to afford doctor office visits where vaccines are given.
From 2017 CDC data, only 75% of uninsured children aged 19-35 months received one dose of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. This compares to 94% of children with private insurance and 90% of children with Medicaid.
To help uninsured and low-income children get vaccinated, the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program provides vaccines at no cost!
Back-to-school health during COVID-19
It’s hard to know if Santa Clara County schools are going to open up in the fall. It’s possible that schools might have a hybrid learning environment, which is a mix of in-person and online instruction, or have students learn completely online. Parents can prepare their kids and teens to go back to school by vaccinating them, especially with the yearly flu vaccine. Parents can also teach their kids and teens healthy habits to stop the spread of germs.
Ways for children and adolescents to stay healthy at school
√ Learn and practice proper hand-washing. Follow the CDC guidelines for good hand hygiene.
√ Get used to wearing face coverings for longer periods of time.
√ Cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Cough or sneeze into the elbow or a tissue. Wash hands or use hand sanitizer afterwards.
√ Physical distance at all times. Schools should mark safe distances between desks or in the hallways and the cafeteria when students stand in line.
Have questions or curious to learn more? Please reach out to our Health Center and make an appointment to speak with a doctor. AACI provides services in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and many other languages. Call (408) 975-2763 to schedule your appointment today!