As school begins, doctors make plea to vaccinate children - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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As school begins, doctors make plea to vaccinate children

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(MGN photo) (MGN photo)
WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

As families continue to prepare to send their children back to school, many doctors recommend making sure everyone is up to date on vaccinations.

There are a few guidelines for doing so.

Abigail Martin, 5, said she’s starting school for the first time this week.

“Transitioning from pre-k to kindergarten has been a little overwhelming as a mom to kind of go through everything and read all the paperwork from the school,” said Natalee Martin of West Hartford.

Natalee Martin, Abigail’s mother, has not only been helping prepare her daughter for the milestone with school supplies but vaccinations as well.

“The form came home and it had asked for a list of everything, so we went to our pediatrician about a month ago and got everything filled out and made sure that Abigail was all up-to-date on all of her vaccines before starting kindergarten,” she said.

“Vaccines are really the best way to prevent transmissible diseases amongst children,” said Dr. Christopher Morosky of the UConn Health Center.

Eyewitness News spoke to Dr. Morosky, who also sits on the board for the March of Dimes CT chapter. He said these vaccinations don’t just provide health and immunity to the individual child but to entire communities.

“If a certain percentage of the community doesn't participate in vaccination, we'll begin to see these infections rise,” Morosky said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. is experiencing a resurgence of pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Last year, more than 28,000 cases were reported and affected a lot of school-age children.

Measles is another highly contagious disease that popped up on the charts again last year. During the winter, a multi-state outbreak was traced back to a California amusement park. More than 170 people were sickened.

“The most important thing is to bring your children in to get the vaccines that are recommended by the CDC,” Morosky said. “And try to stick to the schedule that is provided.”

For students in grades kindergarten through 12, the state Department of Public Health requires immunizations for the following:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Polio
  • Diptheria
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis
  • Hemophilus Influenzae Type B
  • Hepatitus B
  • Varicella

Natalee Martin said her daughters’ pediatrician helped guide her family.

“They are the experts in this field and they are the ones that are going to tell you what's best and when,” she said.

More information on Connecticut’s vaccine requirements can be found here.

Details from the Department of Public Health can be viewed here.

Insight into the importance of childhood vaccines can be read here.

To check out a typical baby vaccination schedule, click here.

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