New Immunizations Required For Kentucky Students

New Immunizations Required For Kentucky Students

 New immunization laws will go into effect for the 2018-19 school year, requiring children to have Hepatitis A and Meningococcal ACWY vaccine boosters, along with the already-mandated vaccinations. 

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Two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine should be administered before starting school with each dose being given six months apart. Centers for Disease Control recommends getting the first Hepatitis A vaccination by Feb. 1 before starting school later in the fall of that year. 

A Meningococcal booster vaccine is now required to be administered to children when they turn 16 years old, according to the Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services, along with the booster before entering sixth grade. 

“With an outbreak of Hepatitis A in California, I believe it is only a matter of time before we see increased occurrences closer to home,” said Grant County Schools District Health Coordinator Mary BeagIe. “In many cases, primary-aged students have already been immunized for Hep A, and we simply need a new certificate. Meningococcal is already a requirement for entry into sixth grade.”

The Hepatitis A vaccination wasn’t always noted on an official certificate because it wasn’t legally required to be administered, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. 

“At the end of the 2016-17 school year, we were tracking a large number of cases of pertussis, also a vaccine preventable disease, which resulted not only in time lost from school but physical tolls on children,” Beagle said. “In hopes to keep all of our students as healthy as possible, each school nurse has been working diligently to make parents aware of these new requirements and will help in any way to increase compliance quickly.”

Beagle estimated there were 100 pertussis cases last year in Grant County Schools. 

Currently, state law requires children to have five doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap), four doses of polio vaccine, at least three doses of Hepatitis B vaccine, two doses of measles, mumps and rubella virus vaccine and two doses of the Varicella vaccine before starting school. 

“The new immunization regulations provided by the state will add another layer of protection for our children,” said Grant County Schools Director of Pupil Personnel Claudette Herald. “Additional vaccinations will assist with newer medical concerns affecting school age children.”

Homeschooled students will also have to be vaccinated if they participate in private or public school activities. Religious exemptions must be documented and notarized, according to the Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services. 

Parents can get their children vaccinated at their doctor’s office, some urgent care facilities, local health departments and pharmacies. Insurance typically covers vaccination costs.

Northern Kentucky Health Department offers free vaccinations for children who qualify. To check for qualifications, visit https://nkyhealth.org/community-partner/immunizations/vaccines-for-child....

The health department also has free Tdap vaccines available for adults because of pertussis outbreaks in previous years. 

Beagle also encourages parents to check on their child’s immunization status during this time. 

Online resources are available for parents about vaccination requirements and regulations at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family services website. Further information is also available on the Centers for Disease Control website.  

Source : http://www.grantky.com/content/new-immunizations-required-2018-19-school-year

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