Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Five tips for back-to-school vaccinations

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Ayla Soltren, a 5th Battalion Army Reserve Career Division counselor, collects school supplies with her daughter, Lana, at a Back to School Info Fair hosted by the 6th Force Support Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 3, 2019. Another tradition of the season is making sure vaccinations are up to date to keep students healthy and protected. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan C. Grossklag) U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Ayla Soltren, a 5th Battalion Army Reserve Career Division counselor, collects school supplies with her daughter, Lana, at a Back to School Info Fair hosted by the 6th Force Support Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 3, 2019. Another tradition of the season is making sure vaccinations are up to date to keep students healthy and protected. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan C. Grossklag)

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Children's Health

The arrival of August brings the beginning of a new school year for students from kindergarten through high school. As a part of the back-to-school progress, most school districts require a series of vaccinations before returning to the classroom. Keeping children up-to-date on vaccinations protects them from vaccine-preventable infections that can be spread throughout schools and day care centers.

Dr. Margaret Ryan, Medical Director of the Pacific Region Vaccine Safety Hub, Immunization Healthcare Division, stresses the importance of vaccines among military families. Changing schools both within and outside the United States increases the risk of exposure to infections.

“Vaccines can prevent a wide range of infections, like measles and meningitis, as well as later consequences of infection, like cervical cancer,” Ryan said. “When parents keep their children up-to-date on all recommended vaccinations, they have given them a great gift for ensuring a healthy life.”

Ryan offers five vaccination tips for parents ready to send their children back to the classroom:

  1. Evaluate vaccination needs well before school starts.
    Making medical appointments, reviewing prior vaccine records, and waiting for the vaccines to fully process after administration can take time. Ryan suggests evaluating the vaccination needs of children in advance of the school season to make sure the vaccines can provide the best protection during the school year.
  2. There will be spikes in vaccination needs for students.
    Expect many vaccine requirements before kindergarten – ages 4 and 5, and before middle school – ages 11 and 12. “However, it’s still wise to check that all children are up-to-date [on vaccinations] before every school year,” Ryan said.
  3. All children should get the influenza, or flu, vaccine every fall.
    Influenza is one of the most common respiratory infections that plague school systems every year, so parents are advised to vaccinate against the flu as soon as the vaccine is available that fall. “Even if schools don’t require flu vaccines,” Ryan said, “the vaccine is very important to keep children protected from this very common infection.”
  4. School vaccine requirements may differ between states or change over time.
    Different school districts may have different regulations regarding vaccines, or policies may change from year to year. These facts require an ongoing dialogue between families and health care providers. “Having regular conversations with health care providers can help families keep their children well protected,” Ryan said.
  5. Maintain clear and complete copies of children’s vaccine records.
    “While we expect medical clinics and schools to maintain good records, this can be challenging when families move and when vaccines are administered at different locations,” Ryan said. Maintaining complete records in the home will prevent unnecessary repeat vaccinations when families move from place to place.

When looking into vaccination for children, conflicting information that can circulate throughout the internet. Ryan encourages parents to check credible sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most up-to-date and complete vaccine information. The Military Health System also provides a wealth of information on common childhood vaccines, vaccination programs, and vaccination resources not just for children, but for overall family health as well.

If these resources don’t provide the needed information, Ryan suggests another great source: the health care provider. “Be assured that health care providers and the people who make vaccine recommendations want the same thing that all parents want – to keep children healthy,” Ryan said.

You also may be interested in...

Migraine Facts and Helpful Treatments

Article
6/17/2021
Military personnel receiving treatment for headaches

For migraine sufferers, there is help, and communication is key

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Hernias: What Every Service Member Should Know

Article
6/11/2021
Military personnel performing a bench press

Hernias are common. What you need to know about diagnosing, treating, and preventing hernias

Recommended Content:

Men's Health Month | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Men's Health

NMRTU Everett pediatrician continues to provide patient-centered care

Article
6/11/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask examining a new born baby

NMRTU pediatrician cares for her patients, one child at a time.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health

Based on data, MHS experts encourage vaccines for adolescents

Article
6/1/2021
Sister and brother smiling at each other

With the Pfizer vaccine approved for youth ages 12 to 15, MHS adolescents are lining up to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Children's Health | Vaccine Eligibility

Adolescents ages 12 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/27/2021
Son of military personnel receiving his COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer vaccine now authorized for children 12 and older.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

CDC HIV National HIV Testing Day

Infographic
5/19/2021
National HIV Testing Day June 27 Get Tested Know Your Status Get Treatment

Social media graphic for National HIV Testing Day

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment

There A List 1200x675

Infographic
5/19/2021
Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing prevention month on protective eyewear and hearing protection.

“There’s a list for that. The Authorized Protective Eyewear List and Hearing Protection Device Evaluated Products List help you find what works best for your mission and environment. Wearing the right device protects your senses.”

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Localize Sounds 1200x675

Infographic
5/19/2021
Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing prevention month on localizing sounds

Localize Sounds

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Maintain Senses 1200x675

Infographic
5/19/2021
Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention Month showing a service member looking through binoculars

Vision and Hearing Awareness Month. Maintain your senses to be sight and sound ready. Our eyes and ears work together to help us function and communicate. Health vision and hearing ensure service members are able to perform effectively and safely on and off duty.

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Localize Sounds 1080x1080

Infographic
5/19/2021
Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing prevention month on localizing sounds

Localize Sounds

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Ears and Eyes

Infographic
5/19/2021
Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing prevention month on seven ways to protect your eyes and ears

Seven ways to protect your eyes and ears. Give your eyes and ears a rest after prolonged used.

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Communicate Virtually 4 1080x1080

Infographic
5/19/2021
5 – Use hands and body language 6 – Use visual aids to back up verbal conversation

Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing prevention month on six ways to communicate in a virtual environment

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Communicate Virtually 3 1080x1080

Infographic
5/19/2021
 3 – Be in good light 4 – Listen attentively, reflecting back what is said, to engage others

Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing prevention month on six ways to communicate in a virtual environment

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Communicate Virtually 1 1080x1080

Infographic
5/19/2021
Infographic that says "Ways to Communicate in a Virtual Environment" on the top and "Vision & Hearing Awareness Month" in the middle.

Ways to Communicate in a Virtual Environment , during Vision & Hearing Awareness Month

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Communicate Virtually 2 1080x1080

Infographic
5/19/2021
 1 – Face the camera and have good access to the microphone  2- Speak slowly and slightly louder

Social media graphic for Vision and Hearing prevention month on six ways to communicate in a virtual environment

Recommended Content:

June Toolkit | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 7

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.