Helping children stay healthy as they head back to school means making sure immunizations are up to date.
Immunization is the best way to protect children against serious illnesses. Vaccines lower a child’s risk of infection and help their body develop immunity to diseases like whooping cough, measles and many others.
“With the back to school season upon us, it’s important that parents and guardians make sure their children are up-to-date with their immunizations,” said Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed, deputy chief medical officer of health. “Vaccines not only protect your child from a number of serious diseases, but also protect those around you and in your community.”
Children entering grade primary should see a care provider to ensure their vaccines are up to date. Children between the ages of four and six should receive the Tdap-IPV vaccine to protect them against tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and polio. Nova Scotia’s immunization schedule also recommends a second dose of MMRV vaccine between 18 months and six years to protect against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella.
Children in grade seven receive HPV, hepatitis B, meningococcal quadrivalent and Tdap vaccines at school-based clinics. Information booklets and consent forms will be provided to students early in the school year.
Adults also need to be immunized to protect themselves and those around them. Maintaining high rates of vaccination helps to prevent further spread and outbreaks of many diseases.
Anyone with high-risk conditions may require additional doses and may be eligible for additional vaccines. Nova Scotians can talk to their health care provider about immunizations. Those who do not have a health care provider, can call their local public health office for more information and to arrange immunizations.
Staying up-to-date with recommended immunizations is easy using MyHealth NS, a digital tool that Nova Scotians and their doctors can use to record personal health records. To learn more, go to http://www.myhealthns.ca .
Vaccines outlined on Nova Scotia’s Routine Immunization Schedules for Children, Youth and Adults are provided free of charge. For more information, visit https://novascotia.ca/dhw/CDPC/documents/Routine-Immunization-Schedules-for-Children-Youth-Adults.pdf .