May 20, 2010

Immunization Regs Change for Missouri School Kids

The Scotland County Health Department reminds parents that immunization rules for children enrolled in Missouri schools were revised in November 2009. The revisions affect minimum immunization requirements for children enrolled in Missouri public, private, and parochial schools, day cares, preschools or nursery schools. Changes for school-aged children are summarized below.

For daycare, preschool and nursery school changes, please contact your local health department at 660-465-7275. Immunization requirements can be confusing. Nurses at your local health department are expertly trained and happy to answer questions about vaccines and the diseases they can prevent. Complete rule changes are available from your health department.

Effective beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, school children will be required to have:

Second dose of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine for all children entering kindergarten. Exceptions are made for children who have had a documented case of chickenpox, but a physician must provide a statement as proof the child had the disease. For children enrolled in grades one through five, only one dose of varicella vaccine is required.

TDaP (tetanus, diptheria and pertussis) vaccine will be required for all incoming eighth grade students if the child has completed the recommended childhood DTaP/DTP vaccination series and has not received a Td booster within the past two years. For children enrolled in grades nine through 12, public health nurses can make recommendations for parents to ensure those children are up-to-date.

Proper immunizations are essential to public health. Many of these diseases that severely affected children 50 years ago are now rare, thanks in part to vaccines, the health professionals who offer them and the parents who responsibly vaccinate their children.

The Scotland County Health Department offers vaccines for county residents of all ages Tuesdays from noon to 2:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Students must show documentation of up-to-date immunization status, including the month, day and year of each immunization before they can attend school.

Parents are reminded to always bring up-to-date immunization records for children receiving vaccines. For more information, please contact the Scotland County health Department at 660-465-7275.

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