New Immunization Requirements for Schools

Published Friday, August 7, 2015 at 9:24 am

In May, 2014, the North Carolina Commission for Public Health approved new vaccine requirements to align NC requirements with the current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). These new changes were made effective July 1, 2015.

Changes include new vaccine requirements, which include requirements for students entering 7th grade to have one dose each of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) and meningococcal vaccines if they have not previously received these vaccines. Additional changes were made to immunization requirements for protecting against pneumonia, polio, and varicella (chicken pox). For more details about the changes, contact Appalachian District Health Department, your child’s healthcare provider, or visit www.apphealth.com.

In North Carolina, immunization records must be presented for children entering public, private, or religious child care facilities; kindergarten, grades seven or twelve; and upon entrance at a college or university. Immunization records are available from the health department office or your healthcare provider, and all age-appropriate immunization requirements must be met and presented within 30 days or be excluded from the facility. Documentation of a valid medical or religious exemption would exempt an individual from the requirements.

“Thanks to the success of vaccines we don’t see these diseases very often; however they do still exist and can cause serious illness, disabilities and even death. Don’t let your child go unprotected. It not only could affect his or her health, but that of the community overall,” said Beth Lovette, Health Director. Vaccines are safe and effective. The most common side effects are pain and swelling at the site where the shot was given. Some people may experience a headache and fever, and serious reactions to vaccines are very rare.

Talk with your child’s health care provider or contact your Appalachian District Health Department office about vaccines they may need to be protected and for school entry. This is a great chance to get your child to the doctor for a yearly health care visit.

Your child will have to provide proof of immunizations on the first day of school. Please remember to bring your child’s immunization record for school entry. You can get your child’s record from his or her healthcare provider or from your Appalachian District Health Department office.

To learn more about these vaccines and the diseases they prevent visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines or the North Carolina Immunization Branch website at www.immunize.nc.gov. Follow this issue by connecting with us on facebook or logging on to www.apphealth.com. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact your local Appalachian District Health Department office or log on to www.apphealth.com (Watauga County: 828-264-4995, Ashe County 336-246-9449, Alleghany 336-372-5641).   #####

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