Poughkeepsie … Back-to-school season is here, and it’s time for parents to gather school supplies and backpacks. Protecting your child’s health and safety is just as important. It’s the ideal time to make sure your children are up to date on their vaccines, and protected against serious diseases. The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health is proud to recognize August as National Immunization Awareness Month.
“Making sure children receive all of the recommended vaccines is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children from serious diseases,” said A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH, Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral & Community Health. “If you haven’t done so already, now is the perfect time to check with your child’s doctor to find out what vaccines your child may need.”
Pre-teen and teen vaccinations protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases including meningitis, blood infections, and cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Pre-teens and teens need vaccines such as meningococcal, influenza, and Tdap, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough. Both boys and girls need to begin the HPV vaccine series when they are 11 to 12 years old.
When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for diseases and can spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community, including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems.
The Dutchess County Immunization Clinic, located at 29 N. Hamilton Street in Poughkeepsie, offers appointments for individuals without health insurance. To make an appointment, please call (845) 486-3535. View immunization schedules and learn more about immunizations at DutchessNY.gov/Immunizations.