Back-to-school season is here. Time for parents to gather supplies and back packs. It’s also the perfect time to make sure your kids are up to date on their vaccines.
To celebrate the importance of immunizations throughout life – and make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need – the Oswego County Health Department is proudly participating in National Immunization Awareness Month.
“Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by the CDC’s immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health – and that of their classmates and the community,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang.“If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to check with your doctor to find out what vaccines your child needs.”
Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough and chickenpox.
When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.
School-age children need vaccines.
For example, children who are 4 to 6 years old are due for boosters of four vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and polio. Older children, like preteens and teens, may need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), MCV (meningococcal conjugate vaccine) and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines when they are 11 or 12.
In addition, yearly flu vaccines are recommended for all children 6 months and older.
The Oswego County Health Department holds immunization clinics every Tuesday afternoon from 12:30 to 3:30 at its office at 70 Bunner St., Oswego. Clinics are also held on the first and third Tuesday mornings of August, September and October from 9-11 at the Barclay Courthouse in Pulaski.
From November through July, clinics are held the third Tuesday of the month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Barclay Courthouse.
Those with Medicaid or Medicaid Managed Care insurance should bring their insurance cards.
Those with private or commercial insurance will be asked to pay at the time of service and be given a receipt to submit to their insurance carrier for reimbursement.
Patients with questions are encouraged to contact the county health department about cost or coverage issues prior to their visit.
Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at
www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.html or by calling the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 349-3547.