It’s almost back to school time, so let’s talk about your child and vaccines!

Routine vaccinations are a great tool to keep kids healthy, in school, and ready to learn.


What should I do if my child is behind on their vaccination schedule?

There’s no reason to worry! There are recommendations to help get your child up-to-date with their immunizations. Each vaccine has its own guidelines, so talk with your child’s healthcare provider to get them back on schedule.

Does my child really need catch-up vaccines?

Yes, and don’t delay!

If you have questions, please reach out to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can talk with you about specific vaccine questions and vaccines that may have been missed, and discuss catching up on your child’s vaccination schedule.

What if I need help paying for my child’s back-to-school vaccines?

Your child may be eligible for free vaccines. CDC’s Vaccines for Children (VFC) program helps provide free vaccines to children who qualify. Click here for more information about Missouri’s VFC program, including where to find your nearest VFC provider.

Here are some ways that can help school-aged children get back on track and stay up-to-date with their vaccinations:

  • Remind families about kindergarten, middle, and high school vaccination recommendations and requirements. Summer is the perfect time to send reminders to families whose kids or teens do not have documentation of required school vaccinations to help families make a plan to get their students fully immunized and protected.
  • Provide vaccine information, stress the importance of vaccination, and give information on vaccine requirements for school entry to parents and guardians in back-to-school communications and events.
  • Display or share trusted back-to-school vaccination communication materials, like flyers and social media posts, via schools, school websites, and social media channels, and throughout your community to promote the importance of vaccines for our school-aged students.
  • Promote up-to-date immunization as part of September Attendance Awareness Month. Vaccines help keep students safe and healthy, which means more days at school learning!
  • Use every healthcare visit – including well-child checks, sports physicals, and other appointments – as an opportunity to discuss all recommended vaccines that are due or might have been missed and get students vaccinated at the same appointment. It is important to strengthen awareness about all ACIP-recommended childhood vaccines, including those that are not required for school entry, such as the benefits of flu, COVID-19, and HPV vaccination.
  • Check out the available toolkit from the Missouri Immunization Coalition or visit CDC’s Let’s RISE webpage for immunization catch-up tools and resources.

Help share the facts.

Boosting childhood vaccination rates will require efforts from healthcare systems, healthcare providers, schools, state and local governments, and families and communities to share the facts about the importance of routine vaccines to keep our students healthy, protected, and at school ready to learn!

Together, we can get routine immunizations back on track by working to reduce barriers, increase access, and strengthen vaccine confidence.