Summer homework? Make a back-to-school vaccination appointment | Healthy food


The 2021-22 school year is over, but now is the time for children to catch up on vaccinations for the upcoming 2022-23 school year.

Parents and caregivers are urged to schedule an appointment with their child’s pediatrician now to avoid the mid-to-late summer crowds trying to ensure all students receive required school vaccinations.

“Each year, health care providers receive panicked calls from parents who waited until the last minute to update their children’s back-to-school vaccinations,” said Kelly McDonough, director of health services at the Fairfax County Health Department. “Be proactive and get your child vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccinations are required by law and it is extremely important not to compromise your child’s ability to start school on time in August.

Virginia allows medical and religious exemptions.

New requirements for 7th and 12th graders on the rise

Parents of 7th and 12th graders on the rise, the following new school vaccination requirements went into effect July 1, 2021:

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY): The first dose should be given before entering grade 7. The final dose should be given before entering grade 12.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine: A full two-dose series of HPV vaccine is required for students entering grade 7. The first dose should be given before the child enters grade 7.

A complete list of required school vaccinations is available on the Virginia Department of Health website at

Many options available

Call your health care provider. Many vendors require an appointment, so schedule it now. In addition to ensuring vaccinations are up to date, families are encouraged to catch up on routine medical care they may have missed during the pandemic. This includes medical exams, dental appointments, eye exams, routine vaccinations, etc.

Make an appointment with the health service: The Fairfax County Health Department offers vaccinations to all students in Fairfax County, whether they have received vaccinations before, are new to the country, or simply need follow-up to be up to date.

Appointments are required, call 703-246-7100. Appointments are available during regular clinic hours Monday through Friday mornings. The summer 2022 clinic schedule is available on the Department of Health website at

Find a community clinic: Inova Cares offers Pediatric Health Fairs that provide children ages 5 and older with necessary physical exams and school vaccinations for the 2022-23 school year. These services are for Medicaid or uninsured children only.

To learn more about mandatory childhood and school vaccinations, visit the Department of Health website at


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