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Health Team

Parents reminded of new immunization rules

Posted May 27, 2008 12:34 p.m. EDT
Updated May 27, 2008 10:49 p.m. EDT

— Students returning to classes in September may need additional shots, according to the state health department.

According to rules that went into effect Jan. 1, 2008, students will need a booster of the Tdap vaccine, which prevents against tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis.

Public school students entering the sixth grade will be required to have the booster if it has been five years since their last dose.

Students in private schools, or those that are home-schooled, will be required to have the booster once they reach the age or 12, or five years after a previous dose.

College students will be required to have a booster if they have not had the vaccine in the previous 10 years.

All students are also required to receive two doses of the mumps vaccine before they begin school for the first time. Most children already get both doses as part of regular childhood immunizations, so the rule mainly applies to children who received single antigen doses of the vaccine.

“Since these vaccinations are required, students will be able to receive the booster dose of Tdap and the second dose of mumps for free,” said State Health Director Dr. Leah Devlin.

“Parents simply need to set up an appointment with their child’s physician or local health department to receive the immunization prior to school entry. The vaccine will be provided at no charge; however, the physician may charge a small fee to administer it.”