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Health officials stress back-to-school vaccine timing

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - Southeastern Idaho Public Health says we are quickly approaching the time for back-to-school vaccines, and timing is important.

Health officials said scheduling various vaccinations can be especially challenging due to waiting periods between vaccine types and scheduling multiple doses in a vaccine series, so start thinking ahead.

SIPH says during this time of year, it is especially important for teens 16-18 years old to get their 2nd dose of Meningococcal vaccine for serogroups A, C, W and Y. This vaccine is currently required for admission to 12th grade in Idaho. Meningococcal vaccine for serogroup B is strongly recommended and may be received at the same visit.

Also, 16 to 18-year-olds are now eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, and the only vaccine authorized for this age group is Pfizer which requires two doses with 21 days in between the first and second dose.

The health district said students considering future mission travel may also need to consider the timing of their vaccines. Several vaccines including the COVID-19 vaccine are usually recommended if traveling outside of the United States.

SIPH has provided a list of some important things to consider when scheduling other necessary vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Don’t skip your child’s recommended vaccine schedule.
  • Pfizer requires 2 doses, with 21 days in between the first and second dose.
  • Know that your child can’t receive other recommended vaccines less than 2 weeks prior to receiving Pfizer vaccine.
  • Know that your child can’t receive other recommended vaccines up to two weeks after receiving their second Pfizer vaccine.
  • COVID-19 vaccines come in vials containing multiple doses that must be used in a short timeframe, clients need to be scheduled in groups. This means you may have to wait for an appointment time.

"Getting vaccinated will help all of return back to normal activities. It is important to help you, your family and others stay protected against COVID-19," the health district said.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the local Southeastern Idaho Public Health office at 208-233-9080.

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