What vaccines Arizona students need before heading back-to-school
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Many kids across the Valley are already back in the classroom, while others are still on summer break. But before children can enroll, vaccines need to be up-to-date. It’s the law.
The reason for the law is safety. Per the Arizona Department of Health Services, before any student steps into a classroom, they must have the necessary vaccines checked off the back-to-school checklist.
For some, it’s the dreaded poke. “Oftentimes, the anxiety of the vaccine is worse than the vaccine itself,” said Valleywise Health pediatrician Dr. Shannon Barker. She said vaccines are important for our community’s overall health.
“These aren’t benign conditions, and while we all like to say ‘I wish there was a vaccine against the common cold’ because we’re just so sick of the common cold, these vaccines that we do have are against things that if we weren’t routinely vaccinating them and children were starting to get these diseases more often, the childhood deaths would go up remarkably high,” said Dr. Barker.
In Arizona, a certain number of doses of Hepatitis B, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, DTaP, and meningitis vaccines are required before a child starts kindergarten, and additional shots like Tdap are needed at age 11. “No shots, no proof, no school,” said Marie Rico, RN, BSN, NCSN, at a free back-to-school immunizations event earlier this week at a Roosevelt School District campus in partnership with Maricopa County Public Health. There are some medical and religious exemptions for the required vaccines
Dr. Barker said if your child is nervous around needles, the best thing to do is be honest with them and explain that the shots are about keeping them healthy and safe. Also, distractions like stickers, toys, and hugs from Mom can help.
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