Back to School List Includes Immunizations

July 24, 2007 - Posted at 8:55 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- The countdown in on for kids across Region 8 as summer fades away and it becomes closer to back to school time. Kids may be dreading the return, but it won't be the only sting they feel when they realize they will have to have their vaccinations up to date.

It's a busy time for parents getting ready to send their kids back to school and on the list of things needed for the classroom...immunizations.

"The earlier in the summer the better because the closer you get to the day school starts the more of a rush there is going to be. Then the schools usually give you a week or two for you to get caught up and then they don't let you in school.  They just send you home until you get your vaccinations," said pediatrician Dr. Jane Sneed.

Kindergarten students will feel the sting from a measles booster, chicken pox booster, and a shot to protect against polio, diphtheria, tetanus & whooping cough.

"For years, the last whooping cough booster they got was in kindergarten and nothing was approved after seven years of age and so the drug companies, along with the FDA worked really hard over the last several years to get this vaccine on the market because they knew that the whooping cough was coming back and it was going to be such an issue," said Dr. Sneed.

Whooping cough boosters are required at age 11, unless the child has had a tetanus shot in the last five years.

"They get a big break with their immunizations until their junior high years and then starting at 11 going on up, they can get their whooping cough booster, which also gets them a tetanus shot and there is a new teenager meningitis vaccine that is out," said Dr. Sneed.

Vaccinations are available at your doctor's office or local health department.