It's time for immunizations, before school and sports

A new school year will bring many children back to in-person learning – and it's nearly here.  One item on the back-to-school checklist: a wellness visit with your family’s pediatrician.

“So many of our children have fallen behind in their vaccinations over the last year and a half, with families stuck at home and social distancing,” says Dr. Nicole Johnson, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is a clinician at the UW Neighborhood Kent/Des Moines Clinic.

[See our related blog item.]

Washington's Department of Health maintains a list of required immunizations for students in the state. These protect against viruses such as measles and chickenpox and bacterial infections such as whooping cough and tetanus.

“We are worried that so many of our young people are unprotected, and we are anxious to get them back into clinic and get them caught up,” Johnson says.

Yearly wellness appointments should start when a child turns 3 years old, she adds, and kids involved in sports need an annual physical. The two checkups often can be scheduled at the same time. Find out more on this blog post in the UW Medicine Newsroom. 

Download video assets on the importance of staying up-to-date on vaccinations and wellness appointments.

UW Medicine