New vaccinations required for some students

Published 7:41 pm Friday, July 25, 2008

Alabama requires that each student be immunized against contagious diseases that can be easily spread by close contact like sharing snacks, school bathrooms, recess and hands-on activities.

Some of these diseases seem uncommon, but immunizing children keeps the school system safe from diseases that can be deadly for young children.

Most children should be vaccinated from several serious diseases by the age of four. All children going to Head Start or kindergarten must be up to date on their shots.

Students must be vaccinated for measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, varicella and polio generally before registration.

At 12-years-old, some students will need a tetanus booster. Chilton County Health Department nurse supervisor LuDean Hicks said a student’s school sends notification to parents if a booster is needed.

“We’ll try to work them in if we can,” she said.

Parents must call and set up an appointment, but if an appointment is unavailable before the first day of class, students can get a temporary blue slip stating that the student will be receiving the booster or series of vaccinations at the designated appointment time. The slip will allow students to attend school temporarily.

Hicks said the Chilton County Health Department is officially administering shots for students on Aug. 1 and 8.