New Back-to-School Immunizations - It's the Rule

August 22, 2016

Huron, S.D. – Back-to-school season is here. It’s time for parents to gather school supplies and backpacks. It’s also the perfect time to make sure your children are up to date on their vaccines. Students entering sixth grade have new vaccine requirements, reminds Pediatrician Dr. Jesse Van Heukelom.

To raise awareness of the importance of immunizations for people of all ages – and make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need as they go back to school – Huron Regional Medical Center Physicians Clinic is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month.

“And this year we want to remind parents that the state’s school entry requirements now include meningococcal and Tdap vaccines for kids entering sixth grade,” said Dr. Van Heukelom. “Meningococcal vaccine helps protect against meningitis while Tdap helps prevent tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.”

Vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases such as meningitis, septicemia and cancers caused by HPV. Unvaccinated children are at increased risk for these diseases and can also spread them to others – including babies too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems from cancer or other conditions.

“Getting your children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC’s immunization schedule is one of the most important things you can do to protect their health,” said Dr. Van Heukelom. “These new guidelines not only protect your children, but other people in the community.”

All childhood immunizations are available from birth through age 18 are available at the HRMC Physicians Clinic.  Parents who aren’t sure if their child has received a recommended vaccine are invited to call the clinic at 353-7660.

Information about recommended immunizations is available online at: or  

Dr. Jesse Van Heukelom, board-certified pediatrician