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Back to School Prep – Don’t Forget Your Shots!

The end of summer is marked by dreadful back-to-school sales as bicycles and swimsuits give way to pencil cases and backpacks. Now’s the time to ensure your child has the necessary vaccinesfor school entry.

What does the law say? (Header)

Unless there’s a valid reason for exemption, all children in Ontario require tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox vaccines. Valid exemptions may be medical, such as an allergy or reaction to a vaccine, or for reasons of conscience or religious belief.

Vaccinations prevent against illnesses that can be fatal or debilitating. Those required for school entry include:

• 4 doses of tetanus, diphtheria, polio and pertussis vaccine

• 2 doses of measles, mumps, rubella vaccine

• 1 dose of meningitis vaccine

• 1 dose of chicken pox vaccine

The last of the early series is given at 18 months of age. It’s sometimes easy to forget the preschool four- to six-year vaccine boosters. The initial series is given before school entry. School age vaccines are given at school and include vaccines for hepatitis, meningitis and HPV. A booster for the tetanus, diphtheria, polio and pertussis vaccine is given between ages 14 and 16.

School provides children with more than education. They engage with people from different backgrounds, learn social skills and develop rewarding relationships. They’re also exposed to germs. We want our children to be strong and resilient but we also want to protect them from devastating illnesses. Check on their vaccine schedules and make sure they’re up to date!

See which vaccines are due at: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/apps/schedule-calendrier/index-eng.php

Dr. Bhooma Bhayana is a family physician in London and the mother of two young men and grandmother of one lovely princess! She continues to find wonder and enjoyment in family practice despite more than 30 years on the job!



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