Students may need vaccines

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Some children may need to have their vaccinations updated before their respective August school start dates. | Courtesy photo

Attention parents – get your children immunized before the August start of school.

“It really depends on their ages and what grade they’re going into as to what immunizations they need,” said Allison Clark, Covington Pediatrics nurse.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, the vaccinations currently required for school entry are polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox. The Hib, or Haemophilus Influenzae Type b, vaccine is required for daycare as well.

Additionally, students 11 or 12 entering the sixth grade are required to get the Tdap vaccine, Clark said.

“Also, if they haven’t had their second chicken pox vaccine, they get that, too,” she said. “An easy rule to remember is students need shots going into school, into middle school and then going into college.

“For college students, it’s recommended that if they haven’t had a Tdap within the last five years, they should get that, as well as a hepatitis B vaccine, but the thing to remember is that different colleges require different things,” she said.

Clark said this is a busy time at local doctors’ offices. She said it’s her office’s practice that if the student hasn’t had a wellness check-up during the last 12 months, they will be required to see a physician.

“That way, we can get a baseline of how they’re doing – you know, weight, height, all those important things,” she said. “But those who’ve already been to see us, they can elect to see a nurse practictioner or even a nurse for their immunizations.”

Immunizations are also offered at the Covington County Health Department Monday through Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. While appointments are not necessary, early arrival times are recommended to reduce wait time. Parents must present immunization history to the DPH before immunizations can be given.