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Back to School Vaccines

Posted: 5:14 PM, Jul 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-16 17:14:03-04

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein talks about back-to-school vaccines.  Make sure you kids are up-to-date on school immunizations whether they will be in elementary school, middle/high school or starting college.

Before heading back to school, three vaccines are recommended for 11-12 year-olds – HPV, Tdap and meningococcal conjugate vaccine. 

The HPV vaccines is important because it can prevent HPV infections that can cause cancer later in life.  This vaccine is for protection from most of the cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).  Immunize at 11-12 years old. This vaccine is a series of shots given over several months. 

The risk for females decreases after age 25 but the risk for males getting HPV stays the same throughout their lifetime so males can still be vaccinated if they haven’t already.   

All public and private school students entering 7th and 12th grades in New York State must be fully vaccinated against meningococcal disease types A, C,W and Y in order to attend school.    The meningitis B vaccine is not required for school but is recommended.

Meningococcal vaccine protects against serious diseases such as meningitis and sepsis.  The vaccine is sometimes called the meningitis vaccine.

Students who are not up-to-date will not be allowed to attend school until they are vaccinated. 

For some diseases, like whooping cough, the protection from vaccine doses received in childhood fades over time.  That is why it is recommended that 11-12 years-old’s get the Tdap booster shot to help protect them from whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria.

Flu can be serious, even for healthy, young people.  Preteens and teens are no exception.  Older kids should get at least one flu vaccine every year.

If you are unable to pay for vaccines check out the “Vaccines For Children (VFC) Program”, a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not be vaccinated because of the cost.