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Returning to Campus? Here’s What You Need to Know About Immunizations

August is National Immunization Month, and it carries special meaning in 2021; since many students, from kindergarten to college age, are returning to school campuses for the first time since March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This commemorative month is an ideal time to make sure everyone is current on the vaccinations that are in place to protect our health.

You may be surprised to learn vaccinations and immunizations are not the same things. Immunization is what happens to the body after a vaccine has been given. It is the process of the body becoming immune to whatever disease the vaccination is designed to prevent.

Vaccinations are one of modern medicine’s greatest achievements and are one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions. Currently, two to three million deaths are prevented every year because of the immunization effect of vaccines — this includes deaths from diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), influenza, and measles.

In addition to regular immunizations required to start school, kids under age 12 could soon join the rest of the country and become eligible for a COVID vaccine. Whether it will be mandatory for school attendance is still being worked out. For public schools, vaccine mandates are set by states. Private schools operate independently from state requirements and could demand students be vaccinated against COVID as part of enrollment.

The Chronicle of Higher Education database has an ever-evolving list of public and private colleges and universities across the United States that will require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to register for classes or move into on-campus housing.

Herd Immunity

When a high percentage of the population is immune to an infectious disease, whether from active infection or vaccination, this is considered herd immunity — meaning the herd or the community is better protected.

Active infection of these vaccine-preventable diseases is generally associated with worse outcomes than the vaccination itself, so vaccination to obtain herd immunity is preferred.

When people do not get vaccinated, and immunization rates drop, it increases the risk of an outbreak.

For example, the CDC recorded more than 700 new cases of measles in New York in 2019, becoming the highest number of cases since 1994. The outbreak was traced to communities with poor vaccination adherence and exposure in one way or another to the infectious disease.

To reduce the threat of infectious disease, a certain level of herd immunity needs to be achieved for each one.

Herd Immunity Rates:

  • COVID-19: 70 percent
  • Pertussis: (whooping cough): 92 percent to 94 percent
  • Diphtheria: 83 percent to 86 percent
  • Rubella – 83 percent to 86 percent
  • Smallpox – 80 percent to 86 percent
  • Polio: 80 percent to 86 percent
  • Mumps: 75 percent to 86 percent
  • SARS: 50 percent to 80 percent
  • Ebola: 33 percent to 60 percent
  • Influenza (flu): 33 percent to 44 percent

Antibody Testing

For parents worried about whether their children have developed an immunity to COVID-19 (once they receive the vaccine or have had the virus), there is a special test available.

Select Any Lab Test Now® locations are offering the COVID-19 Vaccine-Generated Antibody Test which can be used to determine if your body has produced antibodies after receiving a vaccine. The test searches for antibodies against the spike protein, which normally will appear within two weeks after receiving your COVID-19 vaccine.

An antibody test can also be helpful to those who either lost their vaccination card or do not have complete or reliable medical records, especially if it’s required by a school system or institution for enrollment. This can aid in identifying the vaccines someone has already received.

Taking the Vaccine-Generated Antibody Test

The COVID-19 Vaccine-Generated Antibody Test is for anyone who’s had no known exposure to the virus and has received an entire series or dosage of a government-approved COVID-19 vaccine. The test should be administered 2-3 weeks after the final dose of your vaccine. A simple blood draw is all it takes, and no fasting is necessary. The test cost varies by location, but it’s around $120. The COVID-19 Vaccine-Generated Test is not covered by insurance, but you are welcome to use a Healthcare Spending Account.

For parents, this test will allow you to gain some peace of mind as your child returns to the classroom. Getting vaccinated helps your child to develop immunity against the virus. Our test can help you to determine once and for all where your child stands.

Be at Ease

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work, including determining if you’ve developed antibodies from any past infections or vaccines.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 190+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus pandemic. We are here to help.

For more information about Any Lab Test Now, and the tests we offer, visit us at