Utah doctor talks about how important vaccinations are for kids heading back to school

Jul 28, 2022, 5:30 PM | Updated: 10:32 pm

TOOELE, Utah — School is just around the corner and if you have kids entering kindergarten or seventh grade, that means it’s time to get them immunized.

“We need to make sure that we get our kids protected against diseases that really can impact them and their future,” said Dr. Tamara Sheffield, Medical Director, and Preventive Medicine Doctor at Utah Valley Intermountain Hospital.

When starting kindergarten, they need to be up to date on all shots including Polio, chicken pox, DTaP, and MMR. Seventh graders also need a Tdap and Meningococcal vaccine. Doctors also recommend flu, COVID, and HPV vaccines.

Tooele mom of two, Louisa, said her 5-year-old Elodie could not be more excited for kindergarten.

“She’s very social,” Louisa said. “She will love to see friends every day.”

Starting school also means a trip to the doctor’s office.

For Elodie, she still gets a little nervous before shots.

“I mean, it still hurts, she is still a kid. She cries a little bit but she’s brave about the whole thing,” Louisa said.

Dr. Sheffield said when it comes to nervous kids, the trick is sugar.

“Give them a sugar-based drink before they get their vaccine, that helps. Pain is impacted by something like that.,” Dr. Sheffield said. “The other thing is just to help them understand why they’re getting the shot and that this is something that’s going to keep them healthy.”

Dr. Sheffield said the vaccine requirements for entering school are important.

“Vaccine-preventable diseases can be deadly,” she said. “One of the best times to be able to remember to do that is a school starting, we have those requirements to keep everyone in the school in the classroom safe.”

You can ger more information on specific requirements for kindergarten students here and seventh graders here.


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Utah doctor talks about how important vaccinations are for kids heading back to school