VIRGINIA (WFXR) — While many families are still enjoying summer vacations, school is just around the corner. Now is the time to start getting your little ones ready for the school season.

Virginia requires all children entering daycare, kindergarten, and 7-12 grade to show proof of vaccination. Kids who don’t meet these requirements may not be able to start on time.

“Diseases such as polio, measles, mumps, and even whooping cough or pertussis are infectious diseases that we want to stop spreading in our community,” explained Dr. Karen Shelton, the Virginia State Health Commissioner.

Dr. Shelton says schools are the heart of communities, and if the spread of diseases stops in schools there can be a positive impact on the spread of diseases among families and communities.

The Virginia Department of Health indicates that there are 11 minimum required vaccinations for students.

The department says if your child is entering the 7th grade, they are required to have an HPV, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), and MenACWY (meningococcalACWY) to attend Virginia schools.

Dr. Shelton shared that the HPV vaccine is the only vaccine that helps prevents six cancers including cervical cancer for women.

She says parents can opt out of the HPV vaccine, but it is important to speak with your child’s healthcare provider.

To see a full list of required vaccinations for Virginia schools, visit the Virginia Department of Health website. If you are searching for a healthcare provider for your child, click here.