HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – Before students get on the bus and walk into their school building, their health is a major priority. From vaccines to general check-ups, back to school season is a busy time for pediatricians.

“The grades where vaccine records have big changes is going to be kindergarten, first grade and seventh grade,” said Dr. Charisse Carter, CHKD Pediatrcian. “So your 4-year-old vaccinations and 11-year-old vaccinations. For your 4 year olds is your MMR, Varicella, and your DTap. The 11 year olds are going to need their Meningococcal, which protects your brain, and your Tdap which protects you from Tetanus.”

Dr. Charisse Carter says Hepatitis C and HPV vaccines have been added to Virginia’s list.

While many families are vaccinated against COVID-19, the monkeypox virus is still a concern for some parents.

Experts say cleanliness is key in the prevention of monkeypox. “So far children have been limited in their exposure,” said Dr. Carter. “It’s a very specific exposure, so we don’t need to fear it this year. I think we need to do those same things we’ve been doing. Wash your hands and don’t touch our face.” 

In Virginia, masks are not required; however they are an option for those that want to wear them. If a child tests positive for coronavirus, they should remain isolated for at least five days. “We are opening bottles every day and getting kids vaccinated and getting kids boosters because it has been over six months for some of those 5-11 and 12 and up,” said Dr. Carter.

Families can get vaccinated at their pediatrician’s office. You can also make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at vaccines.gov.