LIVINGSTON, NJ — In recognition of National Immunization Month in August, the Livingston Health Department has shared the following information about immunizations for both adults and children and reminds residents to plan ahead for the fall.
Information for Livingston Parents of Students
With the new school year approaching—even amid changes and uncertainties how classes will be conducted—August is a great time to get children up to date with the required immunizations for school. Immunization records for children must be provided prior to their first day of attendance. School-age children must still have all the required vaccines, even if they are attending school virtually.
Certain vaccines are required for children entering a school or daycare program, from those as young as just a few months old to those starting college. Vaccines are an effective way to protect children, their families, and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons from harmful diseases.
Before school starts, make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician or a local clinic to get up to date on needed vaccines. Vaccines that may be required for college students can vary based on the state and university guidelines; check with the university to see what is required.
For more information about immunizations that are required for students in Pre-K through 12th grade or enrolled in a daycare program, visit the New Jersey Department of Health Communicable Disease Service website at www.nj.gov/health/cd and click “Immunization Requirements.”
While we all continue to take measures to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19, don’t forget that flu season will be starting soon and can extend all the way until May. However, you can get the flu any time of year. An influenza vaccine is recommended for those six months and older and can help prevent the flu.
In New Jersey, an influenza vaccine is required for children from 6 months to 59 months of age who attend either a preschool or daycare program. Influenza can be very serious and lead to complications, hospitalization, and even death.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year, which can lower your risk. While those who get a flu vaccine can still get the flu, they are likely to get a milder case and to not experience complications from the flu due to the protection the vaccine provides. It takes about two weeks to develop immunity after you receive the flu vaccine.
The flu and COVID-19 can cause similar symptoms, although they are caused by two different viruses. If you are experiencing any symptoms, contact your health care provider who can determine what is causing your symptoms through testing.
The Livingston Health Department offers flu vaccines to adults who are 18 years of age and older. The Livingston Health Department will be offering both the standard quadrivalent influenza vaccine and the high dose influenza vaccine which is licensed for those 65 and older. Information about the dates and times of Livingston Health Department’s flu clinics will be announced soon in the West Essex Tribune and on www.livingstonnj.org/Health.
Vaccines for Adults
Immunizations are not just for children — they also provide adults with protection against various diseases.
In addition to the influenza vaccine, other immunizations can protect adults from various diseases. It is recommended that adults 50 and older receive a shingles vaccine and adults over 65 receive a pneumococcal vaccine.
Talk to your health care provider to find out which vaccines are recommended for you and the timing of your immunizations, as you may require a booster or not be up to date on certain vaccines.
If you plan to travel internationally, find out which immunizations are recommended in advance of your trip. Diseases that are not common in the United States can be common in other countries.
If there are any immunizations you may need for your trip, be sure to schedule your appointment with a health care provider at least 4-6 weeks prior to your departure. This will allow time for you to develop the immunity you need after receiving a vaccine for travel.
For information about what vaccines you may need for your trip as well as information about Covid-19 in other countries, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travelers’ Health website at www.cdc.gov/travel.