Immunizations: Why, Which & Where
Immunizations and their effectiveness can be a hot topic that leads to vast array of opinions and differences in thought. However, with back to school time either here or right around the corner, there is no debate that immunizations will be required at most public schools. This Health Journal will help you determine why you need them, which ones to get and where to get them. The purpose of this journal is to educate those who may have questions about where to get their children vaccinated and which vaccinations are recommended, but not to discuss overall vaccine effectiveness. Below we hope to answer a few of your questions to assist in getting your children off to a smooth and safe school year.
Immunization requirements have been around since the 1850’s when Massachusetts set a vaccination requirement to help prevent against the spread of smallpox. Obviously the array of vaccines has grown over time with new diseases coming about and new vaccines being created to counteract them. According to the CDC, “Vaccines in the medical world are considered to be one of the best ways parents can prevent infants, children, and teens from potentially harmful diseases that can be serious, may require hospitalization or even be deadly.” Given that large groups of children will be in close proximity to each other and the chances a serious disease or illness could easily be spread, is why most public schools require at least certain vaccines.
Which vaccines does my child need?
Which vaccines are required by your school district will vary but the CDC provides an overview of what is recommended by medical authorities. The requirements for vaccines are most commonly defined by age of the child, broken down into a few different groups. These groups consist of children aged 0-6 years old, 7-15 years old and 16-18 years old. Below we list the CDC recommended vaccines for each age group, but, as always, it is best to consult with your primary care physician and local school district to find what exactly your child will need. Included below are links to the CDC sites with more detailed vaccine information for the various age groups.
Birth – 6 years old
- Birth: HepB
- 1-2 months: HepB (2nd), RV, DTaP, Hib, PCV13, IPV
- 4 months: RV (2nd), DTaP (2nd), Hib (2nd), PCV13 (2nd), IPV (2nd)
- 6 months: RV (3rd), DTaP (3rd), Hib (3rd), PCV13 (3rd),
- Between 6-18 months: HepB (3rd), IPV (3rd), Influenza,
- Between 12-15 months: Hib (4th), PCV13 (4th), MMR, Varicella
- Between 15-18 months: DTaP (4th)
- Between: 12-23 months: HepA (2nd dose should be even 6 months after 1st dose)
- Between 4-6 years: DTaP (5th), IPV (4th), MMR (2nd), Varicella (2nd)
7-15 years old:
- 7-8 years old: Influenza, Tdap Tetanus*, diphtheria*, pertussis*, Hepatitis B*, Hepatitis A*, Polio*, MMR Measles*, Mumps*, Rubella*, Chickenpox*, Varicella* MenACWY**, Pneumococcal**
- 9-10 years old: Influenza, Tdap Tetanus*, diphtheria*, pertussis*, Hepatitis B*, Hepatitis A*, Polio*, MMR Measles*, Mumps*, Rubella*, Chickenpox*, Varicella* MenACWY**, Pneumococcal**, HPV Human papillomavirus**, MenB**
- 11-12 years old: Influenza, Tdap Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, MenACWY, HPV Human papillomavirus, Hepatitis B*, Hepatitis A*, Polio*, MMR Measles*, Mumps*, Rubella*, Chickenpox*, Varicella* Pneumococcal**, MenB**
- 13-15 years old: Influenza, Tdap Tetanus*, diphtheria*, pertussis*, MenACWY*, HPV Human papillomavirus*, Hepatitis B*, Hepatitis A*, Polio*, MMR Measles*, Mumps*, Rubella*, Chickenpox*, Varicella* Pneumococcal**, MenB**
16-18 years old:
- 16-18 years old: Influenza, Tdap Tetanus*, diphtheria*, pertussis*, MenACWY (Booster shot at 16), HPV Human papillomavirus*, Hepatitis B*, Hepatitis A*, Polio*, MMR Measles*, Mumps*, Rubella*, Chickenpox*, Varicella* Pneumococcal**, MenB**
Guide: * needed if child missed previous immunization, ** Provider discretion, based on child’s health needs.
Where to get vaccinated:
Making a doctor’s appointment with your primary care physician can sometimes come with long wait times and other hassles. However, most vaccines are available at other places in the community, making for a more convenient process. Immunizations are available at local pharmacies, health centers, health departments and most convenient at NextCare Urgent Care. Various NextCare Urgent Care clinics provide vaccinations for a number of the following diseases. However, not all vaccinations are offered at all locations. Please call 1-888-381-4858 to confirm availability of a specific vaccination at your nearest NextCare clinic.
- Flu Shots
- Hepatitis B
- Meningitis (PrimaCare and Impact Urgent Care clinics)
- Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (TDAP)