It's Back to School Time: Make Sure Vaccinations Are on Your Back to School To-Do List

Raleigh, N.C.

August not only marks the beginning of school in North Carolina, but it is also recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month. N.C. DHHS' Division of Public Health is taking this opportunity to remind parents that vaccinations are required by law for school-aged children.

Whether children are home-schooled or attend a public, private, charter or religious school, they are required to be up-to-date based on their age for certain vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"Ensuring that children are current on all CDC-recommended vaccines is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children's health and that of their classmates," said Wendy Holmes, Head of the N.C. Immunization Branch. "Now is the time to check with your doctor or local health department to find out what vaccines your child needs."

Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as chicken pox, meningitis, pertussis (whooping cough) and others, are still experienced throughout North Carolina. Children staying up-to-date with vaccinations is the best way to protect schools and communities from diseases that can cause unnecessary illnesses and deaths.

"Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death," said State Health Director Robin Cummings, M.D. "They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but they also help protect the entire community by reducing and preventing the spread of infectious diseases."

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Parents can view schedules to stay on track with immunizations. Vaccine schedules for ages 0-18 can be found on the CDC webpage: