State officials remind parents of required immunizations

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - With the start of the new school year approaching fast, The Mississippi State Department of Health wants to remind parents to immunize their children against childhood diseases.

Getting your child vaccinated early on, gives them a head start to a healthy future and with the first day of school just days away for many, The State Department of Health wants to be sure all children are 100 percent ready.

District 8 Health Department Director Dr. Thomas Dobbs said, "We want parents to know that they do need to have their children adequately vaccinated before school starts. Particularly, if it is the first time they are going to school or moving from out of state."

There are specific immunization requirements for Mississippi students. In order to enroll in any public or private kindergarten, elementary, or secondary school in Mississippi, a student must provide the school with a immunization compliance form from any local health Department or Physician.

Dobbs said getting your kids vaccinated early on is so important because there has been quite a few cases of pertussis as well as other diseases across the state and nation. "There have been about 170 cases of measles in the United States that are linked to cases from Europe. So, it is very important for us to maintain our level of vaccinations in order to protect our children. These are proven effective and about the best thing you can do to protect your children."

Mississippi school entry immunization requirements for 2010-2011

a. All children entering a Mississippi school (any grade) for the first time will be required to have the above listed immunizations. This includes pre-k 4 year olds – 12th grade.

B. Children entering a Mississippi school after their 7th birthday, who do not meet the above dtap requirements, will need at least 3 total doses of diphtheria/tetanus containing vaccine (td). Tdap should be used as one of the three diphtheria/tetanus containing vaccines (preferably as the first of the 3 doses) for children age 10 years and older. Refer to the advisory committee on immunizations practices (acip) catch up schedule at:

C. If the 4th dose is received on or after the 4th birthday, a 5th dose is not required. D. The final dose in the series should be administered at ≥4 years of age, regardless of number of previous doses.

E. Mmr vaccine may only be waived if there is a documented physician's diagnosis of previous infection with measles, mumps and rubella disease or serologic confirmation of immunity to measles, mumps and rubella.

F. Varicella vaccine will be waived for evidence of past infection, including a past history of chickenpox or serologic confirmation of immunity to chickenpox.

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