Back-to-school time is a great time to make sure your student’s immunizations and vaccines are up-to-date.
“A wellness visit or sports physical with your child’s provider before school starts is a great time to confirm he or she is up to date on all required immunizations and vaccinations,” said Dr. Amanda Kossak, Family Medicine Specialist at ThedaCare Physicians-Appleton.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the State of Wisconsin Student Immunization law requires the following immunizations:
- Pre-K (ages 2-4 years) — 4 Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus; 3 Polio; 3 Hepatitis B; 1 Measles Mumps, Rubella; 1 Varicella (chicken pox)
- Kindergarten through Grade 5 — 4 Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus; 4 Polio; 3 Hepatitis B; 2 Measles Mumps, Rubella; 2 Varicella (chicken pox)
- Grades 6-12 — 4 Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus; 1 Tdap (adolescent tetanus); 4 Polio; 3 Hepatitis B; 2 Measles Mumps, Rubella; 2 Varicella (chicken pox)
Parents can confirm their child’s immunization record through their child’s provider or via the Wisconsin Department of Human Services (DHS) Wisconsin Immunization Record (WIR), a database that tracks vaccine records for Wisconsin children and adults. The website provides the information in English, Spanish and Hmong.
In addition to required immunizations, which can be waived for health, religious, or personal conviction reasons, a number of other vaccines are recommended.
Dr. Kossak would like parents to also consider vaccinating their children with COVID-19 and influenza (flu) vaccines.
“COVID-19 continues to be pandemic, so we highly recommend parents follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which state that children over the age of six months should be vaccinated against COVID-19,” she said. “Everyone over the age of five should also receive booster shots as recommended. In addition, anyone over the age of six months should receive an annual flu vaccine.”
For pre-teens, the human papillomavirus (HPV) is recommended after age 9, while college-bound students should highly consider receiving the meningococcal vaccination.
“Again, parents should talk with their child’s primary provider to determine which vaccines are appropriate,” Dr. Kossak said. “Immunizations and vaccinations serve a vital purpose in keeping each of us and society as a whole safe from life-threatening or life-altering illnesses. If you have questions or concerns about a particular vaccine or immunization, talk with your provider. Beyond that, make sure your student is up to date on all health check. We hope these steps can help all students have a safe, healthy and great school year.”
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health of the communities it serves in northeast and central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to more than 600,000 residents in 18 counties and employs approximately 7,000 health care professionals. ThedaCare has 180 points of care, including eight hospitals. As an organization committed to being a leader in Population Health, team members are dedicated to empowering people to live their best lives through easy access to individualized care, supporting each person’s own health and wellbeing. ThedaCare also partners with communities to understand unique needs, finding solutions together, and encouraging health awareness and action. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit health system with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs, as well as primary care.
For more information, visit thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on social media. Members of the media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public and Media Relations Consultant at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.