Time for back-to-school immunizations

Good Morning Utah

It’s time to get ready to go back to school already and that means you may need to get your child in for immunization shots. Elizabeth Virivong from the Salt Lake County Health Department joined Good Morning Utah to talk about what the requirements are.

Included below is some of what was discussed.

What immunizations are required for school attendance in Utah for various grades?

Kindergarten Entry Requirements

  • DTP/DTaP/DT (4 doses if 4th dose was given on/after the 4th birthday)
  • Polio (3 doses if 3rd dose was given on/after the 4th birthday)
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis A
  • Varicella

Seventh Grade Entry Requirements

  • Tdap
  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal
  • Varicella
  • HPV and the seasonal flu vaccine are also strongly recommended but are not required.

Why are school immunizations so important?

Immunization is the best way to prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases; everyone who can be adequately immunized should be, so we together can protect the more vulnerable people around us, such as infants, seniors, immunocompromised people.

We’ve heard of measles outbreaks around the country; are we worried about that here?

We are always concerned about outbreaks in neighboring states, especially something as contagious as measles. That’s why ensuring you and your family are protected is so important.

What if my child attends school and ISN’T immunized?

If there’s an outbreak in their school, for their and their classmates’ protection, they may be excluded from attending until the outbreak is over. Depending on the disease, they could be out of school for weeks or even months.

Are vaccines safe?

The safety of vaccines is thoroughly studied before they are licensed for public use. Every mayor health organization in the world recommends vaccination as the safest, most effective way to prevent the spread of dangerous diseases. Like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects, but most side effects (such as pain and redness at the injection site), are mild and go away quickly on their own. Serious adverse events are very rare.

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