Immunizations Need To Be A Part Of Parents’ Summer Plans

Now that summer has officially arrived in Jackson County, many families are making plans for camps, day trips and vacations. Many of them have a calendar posted somewhere in the house with who will be going where, when, for how long and what they will need. Making plans is how we get things done.

The Jackson County Health Department would like parents to consider making plans now to get their children ready for going back to school. Many would say “But school just ended and doesn’t start again until mid-August. Why make plans now?”

“It is easy to get busy and forget that it takes an appointment to receive those immunizations at the Health Department, just like making an appointment with your personal healthcare provider during regular office hours,” said Lin Montgomery. “That means that at least 24 summer days are weekends. There are a few holidays in there too. And, sometimes, staff takes a vacation which also limits the time in which immunizations can be made available. The time to plan and make an appointment is now, before time slips away and everyone gets too busy.”

The Indiana State Department of Health reviews and updates the immunizations required for a child to attend school. Changes have been made to these requirements for the 2014-15 school year:

•Two (2) doses of Hepatitis A vaccine (Hep A) are required for all students entering Kindergarten

•One (1) dose of a meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) is required for 6th grade and one (1) booster dose of MCV4 is required for students entering grade 12.

•All students considered “senior” in the 2014-15 school year should have a second meningitis vaccine. If he/she received the vaccine after their 16th birthday, only that one dose is required.

•All other requirements from the 2013-14 school year will remain unchanged.

•Because we anticipate additional requirements in the future, vaccinating babies with two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine now is recommended. Hepatitis A is a two dose series that takes 6 months to complete and is also a recommended immunization for anyone over 1 year of age and especially for adults who travel for work or pleasure because it is spread through food and water.