Schools across Iowa will be starting in a few weeks and now is a good time for parents to review health records to make sure their kids have the proper immunizations. Betty Krones, a disease prevention specialist at the Cerro Gordo County Health Department, says kindergartners need a batch of shots before they head off to school.
Krones says kindergartners will need a D-TAP shot, which covers diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, a polio vaccine, an M-M-R or measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, and it’s recommended they get a second chicken pox shot as well as the flu vaccine when it becomes available. She says middle school girls in Iowa now have another vaccine they’ll be offered to help fight cervical cancer.
Krones says the human papillomavirus vaccine protects against H-P-V, an infection that is the most common sexually-transmitted disease in the United States. She says all middle schoolers need the D-TAP shot, a meningitis vaccine, and a flu shot is recommended.
Krones says some parents may think their kids don’t need to get immunizations, but she stresses it’s better to be on the protective side instead of dealing with a serious illness later on. She says people take vaccines for granted and don’t realize what a good job they do in keeping down the number of outbreaks. Last year, she says Iowa reported 345 cases of pertussis, 1,964 cases of mumps and 20 cases of meningitis.
Krones says the numbers would be significantly worse if children weren’t getting their proper shots. For more information about immunizations, contact your physician or see the list of recommended and required immunizations at www.cghealth.com .