Pediatricians remind families to get children immunized before heading back to school

Students will be back in the classroom in just a couple of weeks, so if they’re missing any immunizations, now is the time to call your pediatrician.

Below is a comprehensive list of required immunizations from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, broken down by what exactly is needed for each grade level, unless you have an exemption. The Allegheny County Health Department said COVID-19 disrupted routine well visits over the last year, causing many children to fall behind on recommended vaccines.

“You need to have at least started those by the first day of school unless there’s some sort of exemption. Then if you’re not complete, you need to immediately start into the series,” said Dr. Todd Wolynn of Kids Plus Pediatrics.

If that’s the case, Wolynn said develop a medical plan with the nurse’s office to work towards completion. Channel 11 also asked him about other vaccines that aren’t on the state-mandated list.

“If you think of the American Academy of Pediatrics campaign, they usually say ‘Flu by Boo’ – by Halloween. So by October 31, get your flu series and have it completed. I would also say if we think of COVID vaccinations, that’s another one that’s super important,” Wolynn said.

Finally, Wolynn said don’t be afraid to address any concerns with your pediatrician.

“There’s a lot of mis- and dis-information out there, and rightfully so, it creates a lot of questions for families. That’s what your primary care providers are for. School nurses can help too – ask questions,” Wolynn said.

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