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Don't wait for back-to-school: Get up to date on your child’s shots today

| Healthy You | Wellness

Little girl getting bandaid put on after vaccine.

Immunizations are important to protect kids. Here’s how to keep up with the ones they need.

If you're a parent, the last thing you want to think about right now is back-to-school. But it might be worth catching your kids up on vaccinations ahead of the August rush. 

Protecting against disease

Vaccinations are one of the most effective ways to protect children from illnesses. Before widespread use of vaccines, getting the measles or the flu meant a hospital stay, at the minimum. But now we know that keeping current on your family’s shots builds their immunity. It not only helps prevent the spread of germs, but also keeps kids and communities healthy. Vaccines help build immunity and prevent the spread of germs - keeping children and communities healthy.

Recommended schedule

From the time your child is an infant on through their teen years the CDC recommends a regular schedule of vaccines for children, starting from infancy and continuing through adolescence. Keeping up with the recommended schedule is important for ensuring that children receive all of the protection they need. You may be able to check a few of the vaccines off the chart at their annual physical.

Worried that your child may have missed a vaccine or two? The CDC also has a catch-up schedule to get them on track.

Preventing outbreaks

Staying current with your child’s shots goes beyond keeping your own household from getting sick. Vaccination can help your school, neighborhood and wider community avoid outbreaks of illnesses like measles, whooping cough and bacterial meningitis. It’s especially important in places where there are a lot of unvaccinated people and the risk of spreading these illnesses is higher. According to the CDC, your child may be eligible for free vaccines. The CDC’s Vaccines for Children (VFC) program helps provide free vaccines to children who qualify.

Protecting others

In addition to protecting themselves, children who are fully vaccinated also help to protect those around them. This may include family members, friends and community members who may not be able to receive vaccinations due to health reasons.

Ease and accessibility

Like most parents, you’re probably pressed for time. The good news is that you have options for routine vaccinations. You can get your child’s shots at your primary care office or at your local pharmacy. They are also covered by most insurance plans, making it easier for your family to stay current.