It’s almost back to school time, so let’s talk about your child and vaccines!
What should I do if my child is behind on their vaccination schedule due to the pandemic?
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 doctor to get them back on schedule.
Does my child really need catch-up vaccines? Yes, and don’t delay!
When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, the only reason immunizations should be delayed is if you, your child, or someone in your household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. As soon as these symptoms resolve, your child’s medical care can resume.
If you have questions, please reach out to your health care provider. Your health care 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
HPV vaccine is important because it prevents infections that can cause cancer. That’s why you should talk to your child’s doctor and start the shot series today. HPV vaccine is cancer prevention!
Studies continue to prove HPV vaccination works extremely well, decreasing the number of infections and HPV precancers in young people since it has been available.
Vaccines protect your child before they are exposed to a disease. That’s why we give the HPV vaccine earlier rather than later, to protect them long before they are ever exposed. Also, if your child gets the shot now, they will only need two doses. If you wait until your child is older, they may end up needing three shots.
HPV vaccination can help prevent future infections that can lead to cancers of the penis, anus, and back of the throat in men.
The HPV vaccine is strongly recommended by experts at the CDC and major medical organizations. School entry requirements are developed for public health and safety but don’t always reflect the most current medical recommendations for your child’s health.
Some HPV infections can cause cancer—like cancer of the cervix or in the back of the throat—but you can protect your child from these
cancers in the future by getting them their first HPV shot today.
Vaccines are very safe and recommended! Currently, the United States has the safest vaccine supply in its history. The United States has a vaccine safety system that ensures vaccines are as safe as possible. Millions of children safely receive vaccines each year. The most common side effects are typically very mild, such as pain or swelling at the injection site.
HPV is a very common infection in women and men that can cause cancer. Starting the vaccine series today will help protect your child from the cancers and diseases caused by HPV.
Without vaccines, your child is at risk of getting diseases that can cause severe illness, disability, and even death. Diseases such as measles and whooping cough are vaccine-preventable but can be deadly in an unvaccinated child. Vaccines can keep you, your child, and your family safe from vaccine-preventable illnesses.
Studies tell us that getting HPV vaccine doesn’t make kids more likely to start having sex. All children (Girls and Boys) ages 11-12 years should get the HPV vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV infections. Talk to your child’s doctor TODAY!
Risks associated with vaccination are side effects, which are nearly always mild and can include redness and swelling at the injection site. These side effects almost always go away within a few days. Serious side effects after vaccination, such as an allergic reaction, are rare.
Yes, HPV vaccination is very safe. Like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects, including pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given. That’s normal for the HPV vaccine, too, and should go away in a day or two. Sometimes kids faint after they get shots, and they could be injured if they fall from fainting. Your child will stay seated after the shot to help protect him/her.
Children and teens can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other routinely recommended vaccines at the same visit. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and recommended for children as young as six months.
There is no evidence available to suggest that getting HPV vaccine will have an effect on future fertility. However, women who develop an HPV precancer or cancer could require treatment that would limit their ability to have children.
Yes, your child needs all the recommended doses of each vaccine. These doses provide your child with the best defense possible. Some vaccines need more than one dose to build enough immunity to prevent disease or to boost immunity that may become less effective over time. Some viruses, such as the flu, change over time so new doses are needed annually. Every dose is important because each protects against diseases that can be serious for unvaccinated infants, children, and teens.
Vaccines contain ingredients that cause the body to develop immunity. Vaccines also contain small amounts of other ingredients. All ingredients play necessary roles either in making the vaccine or in ensuring that the final product is safe and effective.
Young children can be exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases from a number of places prior to starting school. Children under five are at particular risk of catching these diseases because their immune systems have not built up the necessary protection to fight infection. Be safe and vaccinate your children against vaccine-preventable diseases before they start school.
Vaccines are recommended throughout our lifetime to keep us safe from serious diseases. As protection from childhood vaccines wears off, adolescents need vaccines that will extend vaccine protection. Adolescents also need protection from other infections before the risk of exposure increases.
Yes, you can still add protection by getting vaccinated after having been infected with COVID-19. Children can get vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as their symptoms have resolved, or if they were asymptomatic, they can get vaccinated when their isolation has ended.
As college-aged adults, your exposures may change. Vaccinations like Hepatitis A, Meningococcus B, Pneumococcal, and HPV are appropriate for this exciting new chapter in your life. Some of these vaccines, such as HPV, are able to be given to pre-teens and older, and may not be necessary if they have already been received. Meningococcus B vaccine may be given as young as 16, so this also may not be needed if it has already been administered. Speak to your health care provider to make sure that you are up-to-date on all of your vaccines so that you are prepared to begin this new chapter of your life safe from vaccine-preventable severe diseases
It’s best to be vaccinated before flu begins spreading in your community. September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated against flu. Ideally, everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October. However, even if you are not able to get vaccinated until November or later, vaccination is still recommended because flu most commonly peaks in February and significant activity can continue into May.
Additional considerations concerning the timing of vaccination for certain groups include:
- Adults, especially those 65 years and older, should generally not get vaccinated early (in July or August) because protection may decrease over time, but early vaccination can be considered for any person who is unable to return at a later time to be vaccinated.
- Some children need two doses of flu vaccine. For those children it is recommended to get the first dose as soon as vaccine is available, because the second dose needs to be given at least four weeks after the first. Vaccination during July and August also can be considered for children who need only one dose. Early vaccination can also be considered for people who are in the third trimester of pregnancy, because this can help protect their infants during the first months of life (when they are too young to be vaccinated).
Yes, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time if you are eligible and the timing coincides.
Even though both vaccines can be given at the same visit, people should follow the recommended schedule for either vaccine: If you haven’t gotten your currently recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine, get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can, and ideally get a flu vaccine by the end of October.
Yes, you can get a flu vaccine at the same time you get a COVID-19 vaccine, including a COVID-19 booster shot.
Yes, children who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same visit.
If your child is eligible, get them up to date on their recommended COVID-19 vaccine and annual flu vaccine as soon as possible. You can get both vaccines at the same time, but don’t delay either vaccination in order to get them both at the same visit. Both vaccines are recommended, and your child should get the recommended doses for each vaccine.
All children 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine. Most children will only need one dose of flu vaccine. Your child’s healthcare provider can tell you if your child needs two doses of flu vaccine.
- 2022-2023 Missouri School Immunization Requirements
- Immunization Schedules – CDC
- Common Questions About Vaccines – CDC
- HPV Vaccine – CDC
- Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination for Children and Teens – CDC
- Help Kids’ Safe Return to School – Get Caught Up on Recommended Vaccines – CDC
- Hepatitis B Vaccination – CDC
- Recommended Vaccines by Disease – CDC