Crossposted from the Public Health Insider
It happens every summer – you blink once, and it’s already back-to-school season. Before that first day rolls around, make sure your child is fully up-to-date on vaccinations required for school so they can stay healthy, thriving, and ready to learn. This year, it’s easier than ever to get caught up on vaccines at one of many back-to-school clinics in south King County.
Where can my child get vaccines required for school?
Your child’s healthcare provider is always a good place to start. But if there are no appointments available or if you don’t have a provider, we’ve got options! Numerous walk-in clinics are on tap in the coming weeks, hosted by Stepping Stone Pediatrics, Seattle Children’s Hospital/Odessa Brown Clinic, and MultiCare. Find a Clinic in Seattle, Renton, Federal Way, or Auburn. Vaccines at these clinics are free and you don’t need insurance or proof of immigration status. You may be asked to provide insurance information, but you won’t be charged and no one will be turned away for lack of insurance. Clinics will offer these vaccines for kids through age 18:
- MMR (protects against measles, mumps, and rubella)
- Tdap and DTaP (protect against tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis)
- Hepatitis B
- Varicella (protects against chickenpox)
- HPV (protects against human papillomavirus)
- Meningococcal (protects against meningitis and other infections)
*Please note: flu vaccine will not be available at August clinics. Continue to check our Find a Clinic webpage for flu shot options in September and beyond.
Which vaccines are required for school?
Vaccines protect children from a wide range of infectious diseases and prevent dangerous outbreaks at schools. That’s why Washington State requires that all children attending school, preschool, or childcare are fully immunized. You can find a complete list of vaccinations required for K-12 school and child care from the Washington State Department of Health.
COVID and flu vaccines aren’t required but we couldn’t recommend them more. Why? Because they protect against the diseases your child’s most likely to come across just by being out in the world. That means fewer missed school and workdays and a happier, healthier kid.
What’s new to the school and childcare requirements this year?
Students in preschool or kindergarten, including transitional kindergarten, who are four-years-old or older on September 1st need to have a booster dose of DTaP, polio, MMR and varicella vaccines. In other words, the booster doses originally required for kindergarten entry are now required at age four. Students between the ages of 4 and 5 on September 1st will also need PCV and Hib vaccines for school entry.
Does my child really need all these vaccines?
Vaccines are so commonplace today that we sometimes forget how important they are. The only reason we don’t see diseases like measles, polio, and tetanus more often is because the majority of the community is vaccinated. But just a few years back in 2019, Washington state grappled with a measles outbreak that took hold in areas with low vaccination rates. Now, two and a half years into the COVID pandemic, no family, school, or childcare program wants to cope with the disruptions from yet another disease outbreak. Vaccines are the most powerful tool we’ve got to outsmart infectious diseases so that kids can focus on being kids.
For more information on upcoming clinics, visit kingcounty.gov/findaclinic
For more information on vaccines, visit kingcounty.gov/immunization