MOHAWK VALLEY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and with kids going back to school in the next few weeks, it’s a good time for a reminder on which vaccines are required for children to attend school.

If your child is not up to date on all required vaccines, they will not be allowed to attend schools in New York State such as public, private, and religious schools, pre-k, and daycare unless they have a valid medical exemption. Proof of the child’s up-to-date vaccination records is also required within 14 days of the first day of school or daycare.

If the child is not up to date for any reason, they can still attend school, but must prove that they plan to receive the first dose of the required vaccinations within the first 14 days, and receive follow-up doses when appropriate.

“It is extremely important to ensure that all adults and children alike are up to date on their vaccines,” said Sarah Alice Foster-Thomes, RN, BSN – Herkimer County Public Health. “Vaccines can prevent many diseases, and illness in children is typically a lot more severe.”

And with polio re-circulating recently in Rockland County, it is a pertinent reminder that vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio are still a threat, and that vaccination is the best protection.

“Polio is a disease that one has to have a vaccination against in order just to go to school, so there’s been a successful campaign over the year to reduce the presence of polio across the United States,” said Dr. Daniel Gilmore, Oneida County Health Director.

Other vaccines that are required for daycare, pre-k, and school attendance in New York State include:

  • DTaP OR Tdap
  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
  • Polio
  • Chickenpox

And additional vaccinations required for middle and high school include:

  • The Tdap vaccine for grades 6-12
  • Meningococcal Conjugate vaccine for grades 7-12

Additional vaccines required for daycare and pre-k are:

  • HiB
  • PCV

If you have any questions, you can check out the New York State Department of Health’s website to view their list of common vaccine questions and answers, and for a full list of vaccination clinics in your area.

And that first day of school is sneaking up quicker than you’d think, so health officials suggest booking your appointments sooner than later.