While the end of summer seems a long time away, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reminds parents that state law requires kids to be immunized against childhood diseases to enter public or private 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. “The back-to-school rush is our busiest immunization effort each year. It’s great to see children receiving required vaccinations, and we remind parents that the best protection is having their children immunized on time.”
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. In addition, human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) and a meningococcal vaccine (MCV4) are recommended for adolescents 11 to 15 years of age, and a meningococcal vaccine (MCV4) is recommended at age 16 to 18 years.
Parents must provide the school with a Certificate of Immunization Compliance (Form 121) from their local health department or physician prior to school entry.
“To prevent school registration or school entry delays, it is important that our students entering PreK, Kindergarten, and seventh grade receive the required vaccinations and present the proper paperwork at their respective school prior to the first day of school,” said Tammie Reeder, Health Services Coordinator for New Albany Schools.
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) as well as most private insurance plans that cover childhood vaccines.
For more information on immunization requirements or medical exemptions for school entry, visit www.HealthyMS.com/immunizations. To secure an appointment for immunizations at the Union County Health Department, call 662-534-1926.