Before the new school year begins, make sure your children have the protection they need. Colorado students are required to have a number of immunizations for school attendance.
“We want kids fully immunized before they head back to school, to protect themselves, their friends and family, and their community,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, deputy director for the Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology Division at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Recent measles outbreaks around the country and Colorado’s ongoing whooping cough epidemic are a reminder of the importance of immunizations.”
Specific immunizations are required for children entering child care, preschool, kindergarten and sixth grade and for children in other grades enrolling in a Colorado school for the first time. For a list of required immunizations, visit ColoradoImmunizations.
com. Questions about how or when immunization certificates must be provided should be directed to local schools.
Most parents are aware of immunizations for kindergarten entry but may not know there are three vaccines recommended for preteens and teens. Adolescents who are ages 11 to 12 should receive tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis (Tdap); meningococcal; and human papilloma virus (HPV).
Full-time college students in Colorado also are required to have immunizations. It’s especially important for this age group to be immunized for protection from meningitis.
“Getting vaccinated is an easy, effective way to protect everyone from potentially deadly diseases,” said Dr. Herlihy. “Vaccination helps ensure students don’t miss important class time and parents don’t miss work to care for sick children.”
For families without insurance, children age 18 and younger may be eligible to receive free vaccines through the Vaccines For Children program. For more information about this program, go to Colorado Vaccines For Children.