During the pandemic, many of us postponed or missed important wellness checkups and medical care with our healthcare providers because of the spread of COVID-19. As COVID-19 cases have decreased and normal activities resume, now is a good time to review the vaccines recommended for your children to make sure they are up to date. It's easy to think that serious diseases like measles, mumps, and hepatitis, aren’t a threat to your child. But the truth is, they still exist. Children in the United States can — and do — still get some of these diseases. Vaccines help lower the chance of that happening.
What vaccines should my children receive?
You should talk about needed vaccines with your child’s healthcare provider. A schedule of all the recommended vaccinations for children and young adults ages 18 years and younger is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html
Where can I get a copy of my child’s immunization record?
A copy of your child's immunization record may be obtained from their primary care provider’s office, the clinic that gave them a vaccine, your local public health district clinic, or any healthcare provider or facility with which they have an established medical relationship.
Where can I get vaccines for my child?
Vaccines are available at many locations across Idaho. They may be available for you and your child at your healthcare provider’s office or your local public health district. Contact your local public health districts or community health center to schedule an appointment for vaccines.
Is there an out-of-pocket cost for children’s vaccines?
Routine childhood vaccines are available to Idaho children, under the age of 19 years, at no cost or at a lower cost. The vaccine itself is free through medical providers who participate in Idaho’s Immunization Program, but the provider may charge a fee to your insurance company to give the vaccine. All local public health districts participate in the state vaccine program, as do most pediatricians and family practice physicians.
Are vaccines required for school or childcare facility attendance?
There are specific immunization requirements for students to attend school or childcare in Idaho because some diseases spread quickly in group settings. Highly contagious diseases like whooping cough and measles can spread easily not only at school or childcare, but also at home where there may be babies who are too young for vaccinations. Whooping cough is a concern for babies. You can talk to your doctor about the vaccines your child needs for school or daycare attendance and read more about the school immunization requirements, including registration requirements for records or valid exemptions, at www.immunizeidahoschools.com and https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/services-programs/children-families/child-and-adolescent-immunization
Dr. Christine Hahn is Idaho’s state epidemiologist and the Division of Public Health’s medical director. She is board certified in infectious disease and works in an Idaho tuberculosis clinic twice monthly. She also serves on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and since late February 2020, has been focusing almost solely on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.