North Dakota doctors discuss back to school immunizations

NORTH DAKOTA (KVRR) — As we head into a new school year, the North Dakota Department of Health is discussing immunizations for students.

With school starting in the next few weeks the North Dakota Department of Health wants to give parents some advice on vaccinations.

“We call them kindergarten vaccines for people, you can give them as early as age four, the ones you need right before kindergarten; DTaP, IPV, which is polio MMR which is measles, mumps and rubella and Varicella which is chicken pox,” Sanford Health, Dr. Rebecca Bakke said.

Although vaccinations are key to preventative care, Doctor Bakke says children should still see a primary care provider for a full examination.

“There’s a lot of other things that support your health. We talk about screen time, we check for pubertal development, we check for scoliosis, we screen for mental illness, we do all sorts of things at these well checks that are important for both your immune health and your overall health, but there is no replacement for vaccines,” said Bakke.

With COVID-19 cases rising, children 12 and under are still ineligible to receive the vaccine.

Experts warn we may see a substantial increase of positive cases among adolescents.

“As of last week, nationwide we had nearly 72,000 pediatric cases. In recent weeks we’ve really seen children start to make up a higher proportion of our overall injections, this trend is expected to continue and unfortunately the largest population within the unvaccinated that’s growing are children under 12,” Sanford Health, Dr. Tracie Newman said.

Doctor Newman says although not yet approved, clinical trials are underway for adolescents under 12, but encourages those of age to get their vaccines.

“COVID-19 vaccines not only provide protection for your child, but also they reduce the likelihood that your child will transmit the virus to people in their inner circle such as; grandparents, friends, teammates, classmates, and of course teachers, coaches and other adults in their life,” said Newman.

You can find more immunization information here.

Categories: Coronavirus-ND, Health, North Dakota News