What are the required back-to-school vaccinations?


NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – As school starts back up, it’s a good time for parents to review their child’s immunization record. The doctor’s office is not the only place you can get advice about vaccines. Smith’s pharmacist Janece Lyle talked more about back-to-school vaccines and where you can get them. Anyone get can get vaccinated at a Smith’s pharmacy. Lyle says all you need to do is schedule an appointment. You can also talk to a pharmacist to find out which shots your child is missing.

For kindergarten, required vaccines are those which are administered according to the CDC’s schedule for children starting at 2 months of age. Then, at age 11-12 years old, when kids enter 7th grade, there are 3 additional vaccines they should receive: Tdap, (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), HPV (human papillomavirus) and meningococcal conjugate vaccine. After 7th grade entry, one additional vaccine – serogroup B meningococcal vaccine – is recommended at age 16.

What is the Tdap vaccine?

Children are vaccinated against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) as babies, but as they get older immunity starts to wear off and a booster dose is needed at the 11–12-year-old mark. Tetanus protects against infection caused by bacteria that may enter the body through cuts in the skin. Diphtheria and Pertussis are spread airborne from coughing or sneezing.

What is the meningococcal vaccine?

Children should also receive the meningococcal conjugate vaccine at 11-12 years of age, followed by a slightly different meningococcal vaccine (serogroup B) at the age of 16. These vaccines help protect the body against bacteria which can infect the fluid and lining around the brain and spinal cord. This is known as meningitis.

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