Time for Back-to-School Vaccines!

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Now is the time to make sure your children’s vaccinations (shots) are up-to-date so that they are ready to return to school in September. Having all school required vaccines protects your child from harmful infections, protects your family, their classmates and the community. It is important to contact your child’s health care provider to make sure your child has received all the needed immunizations for this school year.

New this year, New York State government has passed a law to no longer allow non-medical exemptions (including religious exemptions) from vaccine requirements. Students who previously held a non-medical exemption must have the first dose of all needed vaccines prior to the 14th day of school, and have appointments for any required follow-up doses by the 30th day of school. Students who do not meet these guidelines will be excluded from school until needed vaccines are obtained. Medical exemptions are still allowed.

Childhood vaccines protect against many serious and life-threatening diseases. Thanks to the widespread acceptance of vaccines, many of the infectious diseases that once were commonplace are now rare in the United States. However, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as whooping cough, measles, or mumps can still happen in communities with low vaccination rates.

The Onondaga County Health Department encourages you to check with your health care provider to make sure your school-age children are up-to-date on all required vaccines for school attendance. Schedule your appointment TODAY for any needed immunizations. No insurance? Visit the Onondaga County Health Department Immunization Clinic, located at the Civic Center, 421 Montgomery Street, Syracuse. All vaccines needed for school are offered, and a sliding fee scale is available. For more information on the clinic, call 315-435-2000.