Getting Ready for School: Three Things Parents Need to Know about Immunizations

Dr. David Jones
Dr. Dean Dalrymple

Across the Big Bend area, tens of thousands of children are set to go back to school in the coming days. While parents are scrambling to get the backpacks filled and lunches prepared, Capital Health Plan urges parents to also make sure their kids have the required vaccinations before they walk through the school doors. Vaccines protect kids from a wide range of diseases, some of which could be deadly to your children or others. Throughout August, experts around the nation are providing the public valuable information on vaccines during National Immunization Awareness Month. Here are three things you need to know about immunizations.

It’s a Requirement

Sure, watching your child get a shot isn’t easy. But the state requires that certain vaccines must be administered before children can attend school or daycare. These necessary vaccines prevent diseases such as polio and measles, which have become rare illnesses because of immunizations.

Vaccines are Safe

The internet is filled with rumors about the safety of vaccines and how they could cause health problems. However, all vaccines are fully tested before being approved for use by the FDA. Additionally, vaccines contain only a harmless form of the bacteria or virus that causes the disease, which enables the body to create antibodies that will help your child fight off illness.

Keep Track of the Vaccines

Most of your child’s shots will be administered between birth and age six, and many of the vaccines are given in more than one dose to make sure the child is fully protected. Although doctors’ offices keep a record of the vaccines your child receives, information can get lost if you change health care providers – so parents should keep a careful record of the shots their children receive. You can ask your doctor for an immunization record form to keep track of your child’s vaccines, or you can download an immunization schedule from the CDC’s website.

Also keep in mind that your child may experience side effects from a vaccine, including possible swelling near the injection site, soreness, and fever. If you have any concerns about your child’s health after they received a vaccine, call your doctor.

Capital Health Plan is committed to making sure your child has a fresh, healthy start to the school year and maintains a healthy lifestyle.You can learn more about making healthy decisions by visiting