New School Vaccine Requirements

There's still plenty of summer left before school starts, but some parents might not realize the state has new requirements for school vaccinations. As Laurie Johnson reports, kids entering kindergarten may require as many as four new shots to start school.

The new vaccination requirements are based on CDC recommendations. Nancy Ross, a nurse practitioner and area manager for
Redi-Clinic, says for most kids this will mean they may need an extra dose of several vaccines before school starts.

"Children entering kindergarten will now be required to have two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine, two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, two doses of the varicella, or the chickenpox vaccine."

One of the biggest changes is the statewide requirement for Hepatitis A. Last school year, Hep A was only required in certain counties. Now it's across the board.

"Being one that had Hepatitis A as a child, I remember it very vividly and how ill I was. And it's not a deadly disease if it's taken care of, but on the other hand it is very contagious and it also causes a lot of loss of school."

Students going into the 7th grade also require the meningitis vaccine.

Ross says parents should bring immunization records with them to the clinic or doctor's office to see exactly which shots their kids still need.

The new requirements go into effect August 1st.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...