This has not been the lead-in to the traditional school year here in Western New York.

Parents are just finding out now if their kids will be in the classroom, doing remote learing or a mixture of the two. In the midst of all the last-minute planning WIVB-TV reports that local pediatrician Rebekah Birti reminds you not to forget about vaccinations.

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Birti and the staff at Orchard Park Pediatrics wants to make sure your children have the proper protection as the next flu season approaches. She says flu season starts to pick up after the school year begins and children over the age of 6 should have their routine flu shot by the end of October.

While there is no vaccine for COVID-19 available Birti cautions a few of the symptoms of covid are similar to the flu and that it’s best to make sure kids are protected while back in the classroom.

“Covid and influenza and other viral illnesses that children get in the fall and winter months can certainly overlap in the symptoms, especially since covid can present in children as mild symptoms such as cough or a runny nose, as well as fever which the flu and other viral illnesses can as well.”

New York State requires children to be up to date on their vaccines for them to be at school. The required vaccinations include m-m-r, chickenpox, polio and tetanus shots.

Even if you are a parent that doesn't ordinarily subscribe to flu shots for your children...this may be the year to give that a second thought.