New immunization requirements for East Texas schools

By Molly Reuter - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - As another school year comes to an end the last thing many of you are probably thinking about is preparing for next year. But parents, listen up! Your child may need an extra shot or two before going back to school.

Her immunization center is quiet for now, but come August 1st, Sylvia Warren of the Northeast Texas Public Health District says she's going to be very busy.

"If they do not have it done by school year, they will not be able to enter the school year until they have it done," said Warren.

In March, the state added five vaccines to the immunization requirements for students in both public and private schools. Beginning August 1st, all students entering kindergarten will be required to have two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine. Kindergartners also have to get two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR vaccine.

There are new requirements for students entering seventh grade as well. First, one dose of the meningococcal vaccine. And...

"Seventh graders are going to have to have a TDAP, which is a tetanux, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis, which is like a TB booster, but with the pertussis in it," explained Warren. "They will have to have that before they start school this year if it has been five years."

Finally, both children entering kindergarten and seventh grade will need to have two doses of the varicella vaccine, which prevents the chicken pox.

"When the chicken pox vaccine originally came out in 1995, a single dose was recommended," said Dr. Tom Hargrove. "It turns out that after some years of experience, that about 15 to 20 percent of children don't respond to that vaccine, so a couple of years ago a vaccine was recommended for a second vaccine."

Hargrove says the CDC recommended these new vaccines a couple of years ago. He says he's glad the state is now requiring them before Texas children go back to school.

The Northeast Texas Public Health District says it offers all of those vaccines Monday through Wednesday.

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