New immunization changes for 2014-2015 school year

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Students are required new vaccinations prior to fall school year.

New vaccinations have been mandated for many students by the State of Arkansas for the 2014-15 school year, according to Shawn Carter, Carlisle Public School District school nurse. Carter said while not all students will be effected immediately by the changes, those who do not, must meet vaccination requirements as they come of age.

Carter said the new vacation requirements are:

- All students entering kindergarten or first grade in the 2014-2015 school year must have at least one Hepatitis A vaccination along with previous mandated vaccinations.

“This is a series of two vaccinations and your local health unit or doctor’s office should request your child return in six months for the follow up vaccination,” Carter said.

-Students in grades first through 12th grade must have two varicella (chicken pox) vaccinations along with previous mandated vaccinations.

“The only exception, that can and will be used, is if you have documentation from your doctor’s office that your child has had the disease,” Carter said. “A parent note will not be accepted. If you can not get this from your doctor, you may pay, at your own expense, for a varicella serology test and a copy of the results must be sent from the participating facility to the school as proof of your child’s immunity to the disease. Otherwise your child must have two vaccinations on file. The only exemptions that will be accepted are by the State of Arkansas and you must apply for an exemption through them. No exceptions and no one will be grandfathered in.”

- Children ages 11 years, on or before Sept. 1, 2014, and up through 12th grade must have a TDAP vaccination along with previous mandated vaccinations.

- A meningitis vaccination is required for all students entering seventh grade for the 2014-2015 school year along with previous mandated vaccinations. A second vaccination will be needed when the child turns 16. If your child will be 16 on or be on or before Sept. 1, 2014, he or she will need one dose of the meningitis vaccination and no second dose will be required.

Cater said if a child is entering the eighth, ninth, or tenth grade, they should be up to date on TDAP vaccination, but will need a meningitis vaccination, also known as MCV4, if he or she has not received it.

“Students 17 or 18 year old, going off to college, will need the TDAP and MCV4 vaccinations as well” Carter said. “Colleges will request this especially if your child will be living in a dorm.”

All vaccinations must be current by Sept. 1, 2014 for students effected by the changes will be allowed to attend school, Carter said. Parents are asked to please send a copy of their child’s vaccination records to Carlisle Elementary School, to the attention of the school nurse for placement in child’s permanent record.

Bison Health Department Week is from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., May 12-14 at the Lonoke County Health Department, 306 N. Center Street in Lonoke. To schedule an appointment call 501-676-2268.

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