Healthbeat 4: Back-to-school vaccines

It’s just about that time of year again — time to go back to school.

"This is obviously the hot time of year for school physicals and with school physicals is the time to get caught up on vaccines," said Dr. David Ensz, family physician South Sioux City Mercy Medical Center.

Dr. David Ensz says the main vaccine ages he sees is the pre-kindergarten kiddos.

"There appears to be state to state variations but most medical clinics go based on the CDC guidelines which means four doses of Tdap vaccines by kindergarten, two of the measles/mumps/rubella and two of the chickenpox," said Dr. Ensz.

There are other requirements for kids heading into junior high.

Iowa requires a tetanus booster with pertussis and one dose of  meningococcal vaccine for kids going into 7th grade. 

South Dakota also requires a tetanus booster and meningococcal vaccine before 6th grade

It’s also recommended, but not required, to get the HPV vaccine and the flu shot. 

And in Nebraska, kids entering 7th grade just need the Tdap with pertussis booster. 

Dr. Ensz safes immunizations have proven over and over again to be safe and help fight against illnesses.

"Vaccines help to eliminate that spread and eliminate disease. I mean we’ve essentially eliminated polio because of the polio vaccine," said Dr. Ensz.

Vaccines are usually covered by health insurance. 

However, the Siouxland District Health Department in Sioux City offers free immunizations for uninsured or underinsured children through the Vaccine for Children program. 



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