• By Jason Howland

Mayo Clinic Minute: Catching up on childhood vaccinations

August 17, 2021

As students prepare to return to the classroom, it's important to ensure that they keep up with their immunization schedules. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a dramatic drop in routine childhood vaccinations.

August is National Immunization Month. And Mayo Clinic experts are reminding you that a part of the back-to-school routine is making sure your kids are up to date on their shots.

Jason Howland has more in this Mayo Clinic Minute.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (0:57) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.

It's been a year of uncertainty, and that's caused a lag in scheduled childhood and adolescent vaccinations.

"We know that with the challenges with the pandemic last year that a lot of kids fell behind on their routine vaccinations. So we are doing our best to make sure our patients can get back in and get those vaccines up to date," says Dr. Tina Ardon, a Mayo Clinic family physician.

Chickenpox, tetanus, HPV, measles, mumps and rubella are a few of the important immunization series that prevent kids from getting sick.

"I'm really thoughtful about the fact that as you move into school and we see lots of changes with mitigation efforts and masking depending on where someone lives, we're going to encounter other potential viruses and illnesses as well. Prevention is always important to us in primary care," says Dr. Ardon.

And that also applies to the COVID-19 vaccine for older kids.

"We are also taking the opportunity to encourage our patients to receive the COVID-19 vaccination if they are 12 and older, as this is a safe and effective vaccine for those kids," says Dr. Ardon.

Talk to your health care provider to learn more about what vaccinations your child needs.

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For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.