Get back on track with routine childhood immunizations

By Amy Friel, RN - Fayette County Public Health

It’s the end of the school year and the last thing on most people’s minds, is getting prepared for the next school year. However, now is a perfect time for getting some of those school required immunizations done before setting out on adventure (whether it be local or abroad).

The CDC with guidance from the Advisory Committee on Immunization practices (also known as ACIP) recommends vaccines based on age, while Ohio Department of Health has set requirements by grade level. This means, that most children can be vaccinated well before the school entry requirement.

If CDC guidelines are followed, by age 2 children will have (4) Dtap, (3) inactivate polio, (3) Hepatitis B, (2) Hepatitis A, (4) Pneumococcal and (4) Haemophilus influenza type b (or Hib). Then they will receive boosters as early as age 4, or right before they start kindergarten.

Kindergarten shots

You’ll hear some refer to these vaccines as “kindergarten shots.” These boosters involve a 5th Dtap, 4th inactivated polio, and their 2nd MMR and Varicella. When on this schedule, there are combination vaccines available to reduce the amount of actual needle pokes. Then, other than yearly flu vaccine, these kiddos are up to date until age 11.

7th grade shots

Once they turn 11, they can receive their “7th grade shots.” CDC recommendation lists these vaccines as being recommended between 11 and 12 years of age. These vaccines are Tdap, Meningoccal ACWY, and Human Papilloma Virus. Human Papilloma Virus does require a 2nd (final dose) 6 months later. Other than yearly Flu vaccination, these children are considered up to date until they turn 16 years of age.

High school senior shots

Now we get to cover the 16yr olds. These are our kiddos old enough to prepare for their senior year of high school. For this age group, a booster of Meningococcal ACWY and 2 doses of Meningococcal B (Bexsero brand), doses given one month apart. Or 3 doses of Meningococcal B (Trumemba brand) given on a 0, 1mo, and 6mo schedule. Here at Fayette County Public Health, we carry the 2-dose Men-B vaccine. You might also here this age groups shots called “senior shots” even though some of them aren’t entering their senior year when they are old enough to receive them.

Catch-up schedule

Now, the above schedule is based on those who have received all vaccines within the CDC guidelines. Some children may not have had all recommended vaccines on this time line for a multitude of reasons. Scheduling, transportation, parents unaware of recommendations, cost of vaccines, etc. For these children, we do have catch-up schedules to follow to get them up to date. If you are unsure of whether your child is up to date, or have any questions regarding vaccination, please give us a call and we will do our best to assist you. You can find more information on vaccine safety and recommendation at

The Health Department is available to schedule vaccinations through the week and during the summer months we are offering a late night immunization clinic on the first Thursday of the month, by appointment only. Our next late night clinic is scheduled on Thursday June 2. Call 740-335-5910 to schedule an appointment.

Amy Friel, RN, is the Immunization Coordinator at Fayette County Public Health.

By Amy Friel, RN

Fayette County Public Health