Health officials remind parents to start early on back to school immunizations

Health officials remind parents to start early on back to school immunizations

JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the Mississippi State Department of Health

Now is the time to make sure your children's immunizations are up-to-date for the approaching school year. The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reminds parents that state law requires kids to be immunized against childhood diseases to enter school,

Head Start or daycare.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 95 percent of parents nationwide choose to vaccinate their children, protecting them against potentially deadly diseases.

"Childhood vaccinations protect your child and those around them," said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs. "While it's great to see children receiving required vaccinations, the back-to-school rush places additional pressure on our county health department clinics. Parents should remember the best protection is having their children immunized on time. Immunizing now can avoid long lines later this summer."

Required vaccinations for children entering school in Mississippi for the first time include: diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP); polio (IPV); hepatitis B; measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); and varicella (chickenpox). There is also a requirement for children entering seventh grade to receive the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccination. Parents must provide the school with a Certificate of Immunization Compliance (Form 121) from their local health department or physician prior to school entry.

You may check with your physician or county health department if you have questions about which immunizations your child will need. Those 18 and under who are eligible for the Vaccines for Children program can receive vaccinations for $10 each.

The MSDH accepts Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP and the State and School Employees' Health Insurance Plan (AHS).

For more information on immunizations, visit

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