New Vaccination Requirements: Schedule Now Before it’s Too Late
While school might be far from parents’ minds as they head into summer break, if you have a child heading to middle school in the fall, now is a good time to set up an appointment for immunizations.
The South Dakota Department of Health now requires students receive Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) and the meningitis (MCV4) vaccine for entry into middle school. The change comes on the heels of a state bill passed during the 2016 legislative session. Doctors also recommend children take get the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine, which now is recommended for both boys and girls.
“These are not new vaccines,” said Kara Bruning, MD, Avera Medical Group Pediatrician. “They’ve been around for a long time, but now we have the law that says kids need to be vaccinated to go to school.”
Bruning urges parents to set up an appointment now instead of waiting until the August rush.
“If you call the day before school starts it’s really hard to get those kids in,” Bruning said. “Summer appointments fill up quickly and school will be here before you know it.”
Here’s a full list of recommended immunizations per age group:
Before kindergarten (ages 4 – 6) Your child should receive four vaccines: DTaP, which prevents tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and diphtheria (bacterial infection); MMR protects against measles, mumps and rubella; varicella wards off chicken pox; and polio vaccine.
Before sixth grade (ages 11 – 12) Required immunizations are Tdap, the booster immunization against tetanus, pertussis and diphtheria, and the meningitis vaccine. HPV vaccine, which prevents several types of cancer, also is recommended.
Sophomores through seniors (ages 16 – 18) Children this age should visit their physician for a meningitis booster.
Adults (ages 19 – 60) They should get a Tdapbooster every 10 years.
Call your pediatrician today to schedule a yearly checkup before the start of school.