It’s time to make that back-to-school list: Books, backpack, pens — and vaccines

With the coronavirus continuing to circulate in our communities, and new variants that are even more contagious than the original strain of the virus, now is the time for your children to get their COVID-19 vaccinations or booster shots.

With the coronavirus continuing to circulate in our communities, and new variants that are even more contagious than the original strain of the virus, now is the time for your children to get their COVID-19 vaccinations or booster shots.

Back to school is just around the corner, and while many parents think about back-to-school clothes, books and backpacks, one thing that may not be immediately obvious is back-to-school vaccinations.

With the coronavirus continuing to circulate in our communities, and new variants that are even more contagious than the original strain of the virus, now is the time for your children to get their COVID-19 vaccinations or booster shots.

Dr. Susanna Block, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente, notes that in the case of COVID-19, “It’s better to be safe — kids can get really sick, and even if they just have mild symptoms, it still means time off school for them and time off work for caregivers.”

Who can get the vaccine? Your questions answered

Children 6 months and older can be vaccinated against COVID-19, and Dr. Block says, “It is safe and effective. Vaccines go through a rigorous testing process. I am confident in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine to help reduce the severity and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Of course, many parents have questions. One of the most common is, “Should I have my child vaccinated if they have already had COVID?” The answer is yes. Dr. Block says, “We don’t know how long natural immunity lasts, but we do know how effective the vaccines are.”

Another common question is, “When should we get booster shots?” This is a question that your care team can help you with to ensure that boosters are given at the right time based on when previous vaccines were given.

Should parents wait till school is back? “No!” says Dr. Block, “It’s best to get vaccinated before school begins to provide your child with that extra layer of protection before they are exposed to others in a crowded classroom setting.”

Prevent preventable illness with vaccines — stay healthy and safe!

Throughout the pandemic, children’s vaccination rates fell overall. With kids starting the new school year, it is a great time to make sure your child is up to date on preventable-disease vaccines.

Kaiser Permanente recommends that you bring your child in for regular visits to help keep your kiddo healthy. During well-child visits or sports physicals, check your child’s vaccinations and ensure they are up to date. Vaccines protect your child by immunizing him or her against certain diseases.

Let’s make this a healthy and safe school year. Don’t wait to get your child vaccinated. Parents and caregivers can use vaccines.gov to find doctor’s offices, local pharmacies, health care clinics, and local health departments where the COVID-19 vaccine for children who are eligible is available.

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