School may be finished for the 2019-2020 year, but it’s never too early to start planning for the move back to the classroom for 2020-21, which is currently slated for early August. The Georgia Department of Public Health requires certain vaccinations for school-aged children, so it’s important to keep current on those requirements so that back to school goes smoothly.
Vaccines are typically administered during well child check-ups, which some parents and guardians have avoided during the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, avoiding well-health visits presents a serious risks for children. That is because pediatricians not only track growth and development at these visits, – catching many potential problems before they further develop – they also provide vaccinations, which are crucial for the health of our entire community.
“Vaccines, quite simply, protect children from illnesses that can have devastating consequences and did in the past,” Longstreet Clinic pediatrician Dr. Curtis Malcom said. “Vaccines also help protect the population as a whole because children too young to receive immunizations are protected from these illnesses if they can be surrounded by immunized individuals. It is far safer for a child to receive immunity from a vaccine than from building immunity through the illness itself.”
Indeed, skipping vaccinations could even end up producing more illnesses in the population in future years. Vaccinating children protects not only the child getting the shot, but those children who are too young to be vaccinated or can’t be for medical reasons.
There are school requirements for kindergarteners, 7th graders and a brand new mandate for 11th graders. Find out more about which vaccines are administered when, as well as why it’s important to continue checking in on your child’s overall health here.