Make appointments now to be certain back-to-school shots are in order

Staff report -

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Association of School Nurses (OASN) is urging families to make arrangements now to have their children’s routine well-check appointments and vaccinations updated in preparation for the start of a new school year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, routine childhood vaccinations have plunged. This can create a drop in herd immunity and potential for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. “

While officials determine what the next school year will look like due to the COVID-19 pandemic, families must make sure children have had their routine well-checks and vaccinations” said Kelly Wagner, president of the Ohio Association of School Nurses. “Rather than waiting until school begins again to try to make an appointment with your healthcare provider, we encourage you to schedule these critically important visits now.”

OASN warns families that waiting until classes start could make it difficult to make an appointment with their child’s pediatrician or primary care provider. Families should call their healthcare providers to inquire about how they are accommodating well visits, sports physicals, and vaccinations.

The State of Ohio requires certain vaccinations before entering the school year:

•Children entering kindergarten must be vaccinated for polio, chicken pox, measles/mumps/rubella, hepatitis B, and diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis.

•Students entering the 7th grade in Ohio are required to have an age appropriate dose of meningococcal vaccine and a booster shot of the Tdap vaccination (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis).

•Ohio 12thgraders are also required to be vaccinated against meningococcal disease.

College students should get a flu shot and be vaccinated against Meningitis Type B, in addition to the Meningitis vaccine for strains ACWY. While the MenB vaccine may not be required by your child’s college or university, it is a serious disease that most often occurs on college campuses and each case is life threatening.

Staff report