Mimi Taylor, M.S., public information officer, Eastern Idaho Public Health

August reminds us that school will be starting soon and summer will be fading into fall. Is your child up-to-date and fully vaccinated for school? If not, make sure to add back-to-school immunizations to the top of your “to-do” list.

All students need vaccines and many are required for school. Vaccine preventable diseases are dangerous and even deadly in some cases. Making sure your child is fully vaccinated is one way parents can protect their child’s health and the health of their friends, classmates, teachers and community.

Idaho law requires that for entry into public or private schools, students (preschool to grade 12), must meet immunization requirements before attendance. Children can’t attend school without proof of immunization status. Kindergartners and incoming seventh graders have specific entry requirements, though all students are to show proof of immunizations.  Pre-teens, teens and college entry students may have additional vaccines recommended for their age that are not required by Idaho law. If you aren’t sure what your student needs, call your medical provider or Eastern Idaho Public Health at (208) 533-3235. To see Idaho’s Immunization School requirements, visit immunizeidaho.com. For more information on vaccines and immunizations, visit cdc.gov/vaccines.

Why vaccinate? Vaccines are developed to protect people from dangerous and often fatal diseases that remain a threat today. Vaccines offer safe and effective protection against these diseases. Unless we completely eliminate every disease, it’s important to keep immunizing to prevent them. Even if there are only a few cases of the disease today, if we take away that protection, more and more people will become infected and will spread the disease to others.

Protect your student and take the time to vaccinate.

Back-to-school immunization checklist:

  • Review your student’s immunization record.
  • Make sure your student’s immunizations are up-to-date (preschool to college).
  • Don’t forget to take a copy of your student’s immunization to school registration.
  • If you have questions or concerns, talk to your primary care provider or Eastern Idaho Public Health at (208) 533-3235.
  • And don’t forget to get your flu vaccine this fall.

Eastern Idaho Public Health will be providing immunizations during back-to-school registration on Wednesday, Aug. 16 at the following schools: Taylorview Middle School (350 Castlerock Ln, Idaho Falls), Eagle Rock Middle School (2020 Pancheri Dr, Idaho Falls) and Madison Junior High School (134 Madison Ave, Rexburg).

Southeastern Idaho Public Health will be doing vaccinations by appointment only. To make an appointment or to get more information, please call (208) 847-3000 or visit siphidaho.org.