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Back-to-School checklist: Have you checked your list for back-to-school immunizations?

Back to school 2018

Backpack? Check! Gym Shoes? Check! Notebooks? Check! Immunizations…?

In the flurry of activities leading up to the new school year, there are many items on our checklists! While we’re checking lists for the tools that our students need for school, it’s also important to ensure we have all the tools to start out the school year as healthy as possible. According to Melody Hawryluk, Interlake-Eastern RHA’s immunization coordinator, proper immunization is an important consideration when we’re sending our children back to school.

“I’m not just a public health nurse. I am a mom too, and I vaccinated my children with all the vaccines they were eligible to receive. I really believe in the importance of vaccines to protect our children, and ourselves, from serious infectious diseases.”

Kindergarteners to college students and ages in between should be protected from serious illnesses that can be prevented by vaccines.  The recent outbreaks of measles in Europe remind us that these diseases continue to circulate and infect unimmunized individuals, sometimes causing death. As the kindergarten booster includes the measles vaccine, it is important to confirm that your child is up-to-date with their vaccinations. Public health nurses also offer school immunizations in grades 6 and 8. Is your university student up to date with their tetanus shot? And don’t forget that flu season is around the corner! Don’t let influenza highjack your health – get a flu shot!

To learn more about immunization, Interlake-Eastern RHA has multiple resources to help you find information about vaccines, immunization schedules for children and adults, a starting Kindergarten checklist and much more. Learn more.

Your local public health nurse is also a good information resource. Give your Community Health Office a call if you have questions, are looking for more information on vaccines, or if you’d like a record of your child’s immunizations. Our public health nurses are here to inform parents and help them make their own educated decisions about immunization.

“It’s your choice,” said Hawryluk. “If you have questions, be sure to get the straight facts about vaccines. Check out reputable websites such as Immunize Canada or the Canadian Pediatric Society site, or speak with your health care provider.”



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