School starts soon — is your child fully vaccinated?

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Vaccinations not only protect the health of your child, but also the health of others around them.

And with the first day back to school approaching quickly, it is important for parents to know which vaccinations schools require for entry/attendance.

Schools look at vaccination history since birth for upcoming kindergartners, and require them to have had their MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) chicken pox, polio and DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus vaccine) shots before beginning school. At age 11, kids must get a pertussis booster, known as the TDaP vaccine.

Along with the the TDaP, it is also recommended for kids (ages 11-12) to get their first meningococcal vaccination, which protects against a dangerous bacteria that spreads in groups, and the HPV vaccine to protect against the HPV virus, which can cause cervical cancer in women.

It is better to schedule vaccination appointments with your child’s doctor sooner rather than later, as physician practices begin to get extremely booked during back-to-school time.

Cone Health Center for Children has an exceptional team of pediatricians, adolescent medicine specialists and other related healthcare professionals dedicated to making sure children in the community are healthy and ready to start school.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Martha Perry is an adolescent medicine specialist and the medical director of Cone Health Center for Children.

Dr. Perry received her Doctor of Medicine from University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1999.

She completed her residency in pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital in 2002, and a fellowship in adolescent medicine at University of California, San Francisco and Children's Hospital Boston in 2006.