“Children receiving their vaccinations in a timely manner is one of the most important items to check off as the start of school approaches,” Billy Chow, vice president of pharmacy operations and clinical services at Bartell Drugs, said in a statement.
Chow noted that there are three key vaccinations before school begins: MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), varicella (chickenpox) and Tdap (tetanus, diptheria and pertussis). An additional dose of MMR is recommended for children ages 4 to 6, as is a second dose of varicella for children in that age group who have not yet had the disease. After the infant series, a shot of Tdap vaccine is recommended for children 11 or 12 years old.
“These are important immunizations that provide protection in the near term and into adulthood,” Chow stated. The drug chain added that these vaccines also are recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), among other health care organizations.
Annual flu shots also are recommended by the CDC for all family members, and Bartell Drugs said its Back to School initiative offers a timely, one-stop opportunity for family members over 5 years of age get vaccinated for seasonal flu before the school year begins.
Immunizations are available at Bartell’s 64 pharmacy locations in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties on a walk-in basis, but the company recommends that customers contact their local Bartell Drugs pharmacist to check on vaccine availability or to get any additional information in advance.