Childhood vaccinations

A student receives a first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine during a City of Long Beach Public Health Covid-19 mobile vaccination clinic at the California State University Long Beach (CSULB) campus on August 11, 2021 in Long Beach, California. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

As students prepare to return to the classroom, it's important to ensure that they keep up with their immunization schedules. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a dramatic drop in routine childhood vaccinations.

August is National Immunization Month. And Mayo Clinic experts are reminding you that a part of the back-to-school routine is making sure your kids are up to date on their shots.

It's been a year of uncertainty, and that's caused a lag in scheduled childhood and adolescent vaccinations.

"We know that with the challenges with the pandemic last year that a lot of kids fell behind on their routine vaccinations. So we are doing our best to make sure our patients can get back in and get those vaccines up to date," says Dr. Tina Ardon, a Mayo Clinic family physician.

Chickenpox, tetanus, HPV, measles, mumps and rubella are a few of the important immunization series that prevent kids from getting sick.

"I'm really thoughtful about the fact that as you move into school and we see lots of changes with mitigation efforts and masking depending on where someone lives, we're going to encounter other potential viruses and illnesses as well. Prevention is always important to us in primary care," says Dr. Ardon.

And that also applies to the COVID-19 vaccine for older kids.

"We are also taking the opportunity to encourage our patients to receive the COVID-19 vaccination if they are 12 and older, as this is a safe and effective vaccine for those kids," says Dr. Ardon.

Talk to your health care provider to learn more about what vaccinations your child needs.

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