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Summer 2009
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State Announces New Vaccination Requirements

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Earlier this year, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced new rules for school immunization requirements, mandating new vaccinations that will primarily affect kindergarten and seventh grade students.

“Notification letters have been mailed to the parents of approximately 10,000 students informing them that their children will need immunizations before the next school year begins,” said Tracy Lunoff, healthcare coordinator for the Austin Independent School District. “The immunization records must be completed by the first day of classes on Aug. 24 or the students will not be admitted to class.”

The new vaccination requirements include:

  • Hepatitis A Vaccine – students entering kindergarten will be required to have two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine.
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine – students entering kindergarten will be required to have two doses of the MMR vaccine.
  • Varicella Vaccine – students entering kindergarten and the seventh grade will be required to have two doses of varicella vaccine.
  • Tetanus, Diptheria and acellular pertussis-containing vaccine (Tdap) – all seventh grade students will be required to have one dose of Tdap vaccine. Seventh graders will be required to have a booster dose of Tdap only if it has been five years since their last dose of tetanus-containing vaccine. Students in grades 8-12 are required to have a booster dose of Tdap if it has been 10 years since their previous dose of tetanus-containing vaccine.
  • Meningococcal Vaccine – all seventh graders will be required to have one dose of meningococcal vaccine.

“It’s important for parents to keep children’s immunization records up to date to protect against serious infections that can be prevented with immunizations.” said Stephen Pont, MD, MPH, Dell Children’s/AISD School Health Program. This year it is especially important to double check your student's immunization record due to the new requirements.

Dell Children’s, in collaboration with AISD Health Services and other community health partners, are working together to ensure all students’ immunizations are current before the start of school. “We want the first day of school to be exciting and focused on learning for parents and student,” Lunoff added.

AISD’s “Don’t Wait…Vaccinate” program helps families with the immunization process. As the program moves into its third year, it looks to improve immunization rates and the health of children the Austin community.

If you have questions about your child's immunizations, dates, locations or other information, please contact your child's school nurse or call the Children's/AISD Student Health Services Administrative Office at (512) 324-0195. You can also call 2-1-1 Information and Referral Line or visit www.austinvaccinates.org for more information on AISD’s vaccination program.

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Good Health for Kids is produced by Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas.