Are your child’s immunizations up to date?

GEHA | August 2, 2021

health and wellness children's health immunization
Vaccinations help protect your child from diseases that could cause serious health problems.

It’s back-to-school time. As you prepare for your child to start a new school year, don’t forget to keep your child’s immunizations up to date.

Vaccinations help protect your child from diseases that could cause serious health problems. They also help protect the health of classmates, friends, relatives and others in the community.

State laws establish vaccination requirements for schoolchildren that often apply to children attending private and public schools as well as day cares. Proof of immunization is often required for enrollment.

Most vaccinations are spaced throughout the first 24 months of a child’s life to provide protection when the child is most vulnerable. Vaccines are given in several stages or doses based on standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By the time children have reached age 2, they should have received shots to be immunized against 14 serious diseases:

  • Chickenpox (varicella)
  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Hib disease
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Polio
  • Pneumococcal infection
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus
  • Influenza

From ages 4 through 6, children need additional doses of some vaccines, as well as a flu vaccine every year. If vaccines are missed, work with your child’s doctor to get back on track. Download this chart of the recommended vaccination timeline.

From ages 7 through 10, children should continue to get a flu vaccine every year. Adolescents (ages 11 and 12) need additional vaccinations to provide protection as they enter adulthood. Three essential vaccines are for human papillomavirus (HPV), meningitis and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), as well as a seasonal flu vaccine.

Watch a video about the importance of getting your children immunized at the GEHA Health Balance portal. You must sign in to access the video.


Sources:
“2021 Recommended Vaccinations for Infants and Children (birth through 6 years).” www.cdc.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 February, 2021.
“Does Your Back-to-School Checklist Include Vaccination?” www.cdc.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 24 July, 2018.
“State Vaccination Requirements.” www.cdc.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 15 November, 2016.
“Immunizations and Vaccines.” www.webmd.com, WebMD LLC, 20 May, 2018.
“Growing Up with Vaccines: What Should Parents Know?” www.cdc.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021.