This story appeared on FOX 40. Read more here.
According to U.S. pediatricians, one of the most effective ways to protect children as they return to school is to ensure that their immunizations are all up to date. The American Academy of Pediatrics Council on School Health wants parents to know it’s not too late to schedule a back-to-school physical with your child’s doctor, which will include any needed vaccinations.
Vaccination rates have declined nationally, and pediatricians are concerned about the potential outbreaks of life-threatening diseases in children, such as polio. Since the mid-1950s, polio vaccines led to over a 99% reduction in polio cases worldwide. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many children fell behind on recommended vaccines, putting them at risk of getting sick from vaccine-preventable diseases. In 2022, polio was reported in New York in an unvaccinated 20-year-old.
“We know that children — and their caregivers — vaccinated against COVID and influenza are much less likely to become severely ill or hospitalized if they do get sick, compared with unvaccinated individuals,” says Andrea Stephenson, CEO of the Health Council of Southeast Florida, whose goal is to provide residents with information to help improve community health.
Check out The American Academy of Pediatrics website, HealthyChildren.org, for more lessons on starting school successfully.