Student Vaccination Facts
At least one in five students—adolescents and elementary-age—are thought to be behind on routine vaccinations, such as MMR, meningitis, hepatitis, tetanus, etc. Traditionally, students get vaccines at wellness check-ups, public health clinics, or in the summer for camps or back to school, but Covid-19 has prevented access for many of these students and their families. Further, there is evidence that this challenge existed before the pandemic. Students without these vaccinations may not be allowed to return to in-person learning in the fall.
The Learning First Alliance has launched a new website, www.getvaxfacts.org, to help parents and educators understand the urgent need for these routine vaccinations and help them access free or low-cost programs.
Traditionally, students get vaccines at wellness check-ups, public health clinics, or in the summer for camps or back to school, but Covid-19 has prevented access for many of these students and their families.
Further, there is evidence that this challenge existed before the pandemic. Learn more about why it's important to keep up with routine vaccinations even during the Covid-19 pandemic from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Many adolescents will be eligible for the Covid vaccine this summer but one complication is that you cannot receive another vaccine for 14 days before or after a Covid vaccine. For the two-dose regimen, that’s a 54-day period. We are urging parents and guardians to be mindful of this mandate and schedule their children's and adolescents' vaccinations now so they will not be forced to choose between inoculating against Covid versus other diseases. The American Academy of Pediatrics has more information and this fact sheet for schools and parent organizations to download and distribute.
Without up-to-date shots, students in some states may be denied entry to schools this fall.
Wondering about how to pay for childhood vaccinations? There are many ways of obtaining vaccinations, including a federal government program that gives free vaccinations. Learn more in our Resource Guide.
Unity, a non-profit coalition of groups dedicated to insuring adolescents and young adults maintain their vaccinations, will host a free webinar on May 6 at 12 p.m. to discuss this timely issue. The webinar will feature Richard Gordon, principal of Philadelphia's Paul Robeson High School and NASSP Principal of the Year 2021. Register here.
Stay tuned for more information about our efforts to ensure all students are vaccinated and safe from harmful and sometimes deadly diseases.
Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.