School might be finished for the summer, but now is the time for children to get caught-up on their immunizations. Parents, delaying immunizations puts your child in jeopardy of starting school in August. Pediatricians and health clinics get increasingly busy with back-to-school appointments as summer days roll forward, so now is the time to take action and get children immunized.
“Each year, the health care community receives panicked calls from parents who waited until the last minute to get their children’s immunizations updated for the start of school. Please, let’s not do this again, parents!” pleaded Kelly McDonough, director of health services for the Fairfax County Health Department. “Be proactive and get your child’s immunizations completed as soon as possible. If you don’t, you can jeopardize their ability to start school on time in August.”
Parents of Rising 7th and 12th Graders should be aware of new requirements
Parents of rising 7th and 12th graders the following new school immunization requirements were made effective July 1, 2021:
- Meningococcal Conjugate (MenACWY) Vaccine: The first dose should be administered prior to entering 7th grade. The final dose should be administered prior to entering 12th grade. For related information, see Vaccine (Shot) for Meningococcal Disease
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine: A complete series of two doses of HPV vaccine is required for students entering the 7th grade. The first dose shall be administered before the child enters the 7th grade. For related information, see: HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention.
A full list of required school vaccines can be found on the Virginia Department of Health website.
- Call your health care provider. Many providers require an appointment, so schedule it now. In addition to ensuring immunizations are up to date, families are encouraged to catch-up on routine medical care they might have missed during the pandemic. This includes physicals, dental appointments, vision screenings, routine vaccinations, and more.
- Schedule an appointment with the Health Department: The Fairfax County Health Department is offering immunizations to all Fairfax County students regardless of if they have had vaccines in the past, are new to the country, or just need a follow up to be up to date. Appointments are required, call 703-246-7100. Appointments are available during regular clinic hours Monday–Friday mornings. The schedule for Summer 2022 clinics can be found on the Health Department website.
- Find a community clinic: Inova Cares offers pediatric health fairs that provide children 5 years and older with school physicals and immunizations needed for the 2022-23 school year. These services are for Medicaid or Uninsured Children Only. Find the schedule on our website. Appointments are required, call 703-698-2550.