Island Health recommends making immunizations part of back to school routine

Island Health

Press Release

Tuesday, September 1 2015

Are your child’s vaccinations and booster shots up to date? As students across Vancouver Island get ready to start the school year, Island Health is reminding parents and caregivers that back to school is an ideal time to make plans to keep their child’s vaccinations up to date. 

“Before entering  school, children between four- and six-years-old should get vaccination boosters against tetanus, polio, whooping cough, chicken pox as well as update their mumps, measles, rubella and varicella vaccinations,” said Dr. Dee Hoyano, Medical Health Officer for Island Health. 

“The shots your child received as a baby need boosting to be most protective. Keep them up to date.  Immunization is an effective and simple way to protect your children from disease. It’s far safer to get the vaccine than to get sick from vaccine-preventable illnesses,” she said. 

If someone at school contracts a vaccine-preventable infectious disease, children who are not immunized may have to stay home until it is safe to return.  Keeping up to date with your child’s immunizations not only protects their health, but also those in the larger community. 

Parents are encouraged to contact their health care provider or local public health unit and make an appointment and/or inquire about vaccinations for children who are between four- and six-years-old.  

There are numerous online resources to help parents keep track of their child’s immunizations including free text reminders, as well as printable Child Health Passports to help keep track of immunization history and other health information. A smartphone ImmunizeCA App is also available for download to help manage immunization records. 

“The past year we’ve seen an active year particularly when it comes to whooping cough, so getting vaccinated is an important way to protect your child and other children,” Hoyano said.