Back-to-school season is here. It’s time for parents to gather supplies and backpacks. 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 Redwoods Rural Health Center is proudly participating in National Immunization Awareness Month.
Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC’s immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health - and that of classmates and the community. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to check with your doctor to find out what vaccines your child needs.
Redwoods Rural Health Center (RRHC) offers convenient school-based clinic locations to improve access to preventive healthcare for children and adolescents in our community. RRHC holds a semimonthly clinic at South Fork High School for youth who are not feeling well or need to complete their sports physicals. RRHC also contracts Eureka Pediatrics to provide specialty-pediatric services during the school year at the Southern Humboldt Family Resource Center located on the Redway Elementary campus. The next pediatrics clinic will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 11.
Most schools require children to be current on vaccinations before enrolling to protect the health of all students. 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, need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), MCV (meningococcal conjugate vaccine) and HPV (human papillomavirus). In addition, yearly flu vaccines are recommended for all children 6 months and older.
Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.html or call Redwoods Rural Health Center at 707-923-2783 to make an appointment.