SAN ANTONIO — As we are now into summer, the next two months are the perfect time to get your child caught up on their childhood vaccines before school begins in the fall. Getting these childhood vaccines aren't only important to protect your child, but also other children, especially those with medical conditions that prevent them from getting specific vaccinations.
"It's very important for children under five to get their vaccines because they have lower immune systems in general and they don't have as much exposure and experience seeing lots of different infections," said Dr. Dina Tom who is a pediatric hospitalist with University Health and associate professor of pediatrics with UT Health San Antonio.
She says when a child is born they only have the mother's immunity for a few months. Dr. Tom told us, "That's why they tend to get a bunch of vaccines in that first couple of years of life because they have to build up their protection to go out into the world and interact and be happy, healthy children."
According to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report… Kindergartner's vaccination rates are on the decline. Vaccines for measles, mumps, and the rubella vaccine, and state required doses of vaccines for polio, varicella, diptheria, tetanus and pertussis was about 93 percent for the 2021-2022 school year, which is down from 94 percent in the previous year, and 95 percent in 2019 and 2020, before the COVID pandemic.
Dr. Tom added, "Now that we have children out in the world again, they had a couple of years where they weren't really weren't exposed to sick people, so their immune systems really got a bit lower."
Right now Dr. Tom says making sure your child has the measles, mumps, and rubella shot is very important. Dr. Tom said, "These are all three viruses. And measles is very, very contagious. So we're seeing these in different parts of the country where there's low vaccination rates and measles can be very, very dangerous."
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