Back to School: Vaccinations

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August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and just ahead of the new school year Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law in June, requiring children attending public, private and parochial schools, to get their vaccinations.

Dr. Tsoline Kojaoghlanian serves as the director of pediatric diseases at St. Barnabas Hospital and tells News 12 this is the best time of year for children to receive their vaccinations.

"Especially in the winter, when kids are returning to school and the weather gets colder, everyone is [in] closer contact with each other, this is when these things can spread much easier and much faster," says Dr. Kojaoghlanian.

According to Dr. Kojaoghlanian, she says she's worried about HPV.

"The reason why we are worried with HPV is that it is very common, and certain types of HPV can cause cancer in women, cervical and vaginal cancer and also cancer in men, penile and anal cancer and even throat cancer. Therefore the idea is to give this vaccine to prevent cancer."

"Vaccines are proven safe and are the most effective way to protect against preventable diseases like measles, influenza and the potentially cancer-causing human papillomavirus, or HPV," says Dr. Kojaoghlanian.

Many parents are in agreement as well.

"Definitely peace of mind cause I know my children are going to school vaccinated, and they’re definitely a lot safer than any child that is not vaccinated,” says parent Dawn Capalbi.

According to the New York State Department of Health, under the new law ending all non-medical exemptions, children who were not previously vaccinated will have 14 days from the first day of school to receive the proper dosages.

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