HEALTH

Childhood vaccinations recommended as school year begins anew

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With summer drawing to a close and schools in the D.C. area starting as early as next Monday, the rush is on to get children reado to head back to campus.

Tax-free holidays in Maryland and Virginia may already have students outfitted with new clothes, notebooks, pencils and backpacks, but schools nationwide want to make sure kids are also up to date with their vaccines.

Vaccinations don't stop when kids are in elementary school. Some need to be updated as they get older because some of the protection from their childhood shots begin to wear off.

By the time your child is ready for kindergarten, they should have received all the typical vaccinations as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, which include diphtheria, polio, the MMR vaccine and chickenpox.

Once their preteen years come around, though, it's time for another round of vaccinations, including against meningitis, HPV and T-DAP, which covers tetanus, diphtheria again and pertussis.

Teenage vaccinations include catch-up shots to protect against Hepatitis B, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella.

And, as always, the CDC recommends that children of all ages get their yearly flu shot.

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