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Immunizations Encouraged Before School

**** Health and Wellness Media Release

Immunizations Encouraged Before School
Helping children and families stay healthy means making sure immunizations are up-to-date.

Immunization is an important way to protect children and families against serious illnesses. Vaccines lower the risk of infection and helps people develop immunity to diseases like whooping cough, measles and many others.

“As September approaches, it’s important parents and guardians make sure their children’s – and their own – immunizations are up-to-date and to keep a record of them,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health. “Vaccines protect you and your children, as well as those around you, from a number of serious diseases.”

A health care provider can determine the necessary vaccines for children and adults to ensure their vaccines are up-to-date.

Infants should receive vaccines listed in Nova Scotia’s Routine Immunization Schedule. Before starting school, children between the ages of four and six should receive a booster of Tdap-IPV vaccine to protect them against tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, and polio. They may also need a second dose of MMRV vaccine to protect against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.

Youth 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 prevent further spread and outbreaks of many diseases. Adults born in 1970 or later who have not received two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine should be immunized. Adults should also receive a booster dose against diphtheria and tetanus, and where appropriate, pertussis, every 10 years.

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.

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 .

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