New school year approaching: here are Ohio’s guidelines for school immunizations

CLEVELAND, OH - The new school year will be here before you know it, and that means it’s time to start thinking about school supplies, lunch menus and getting up to date with vaccines.

Mother of six Brittany Bacon says having up to date vaccinations for her children has always been top priority, even though she’s had concerns about possible side effects.

"The story came about that some 3-year-old girl was paralyzed after the flu shot and I got nervous about that," said Bacon.

But Dr. Lolita McDavid with Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital says the benefits far outweigh the risks, especially when you’re dealing with potentially deadly diseases like polio, meningitis, and even the mumps and measles.

"I've seen what these diseases look like when they have not been prevented," says Dr. McDavid.

Last year, a new law went into effect that requires all incoming seventh graders to have one dose of the meningitis vaccine.

It also says all incoming 12th graders must get a second dose.

But what about kindergartners entering class for the first time?

Dr. McDavid says, " They have to have a full series of diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus, what we call D-Tap. They have to have measles, mumps and German measles. They get that at one year of age and 4-years of age.”

The hepatitis-B vaccine is also required, as well as the polio and chicken pox vaccines.

Also, given the different strains of the flu that we see year after year, all children should get a flu shot annually.

Mom Brittany Bacon adds, "Being more educated, it's very important because you have to build up their immune system so they don't get other people sick. They don't get sick themselves, and no one knows what untreated illnesses can cause. They can lay dormant for a while and come back up as something else. So it's very important to get your kids vaccinated."

There are immunization exemptions. Click here for more on that.