Health officials with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and Cabin Creek Health Systems today urged parents to check their children’s immunization status during an awareness event hosted by Riverside Health Clinic, based at Riverside High school in Belle, West Virginia.
“Now is the best time for parents to schedule required school vaccinations as doctors’ offices will be extremely busy with immunizations and sports physicals in the weeks leading up to the start of school,” said DHHR Cabinet Secretary Karen L. Bowling. “Today, we joined our partners from both the private and public sector to highlight the importance of ensuring our children are safe from vaccine preventable diseases.”
Below are the required school entry shots for West Virginia:
- Children entering a West Virginia school for the first time from kindergarten through grade 12 are required to have the DTaP, polio, MMR, chickenpox and hepatitis B vaccines. Children who are not behind schedule can receive school entry “booster” doses.
- 7th graders must show proof they received a dose of Tdap vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough); and a dose of the meningitis vaccine.
- 12th graders must show proof of a dose of Tdap and a second dose of the meningitis vaccine, if the first dose of the meningitis vaccine was given before the child’s sixteenth birthday. If the first dose was given after the 16th birthday, a second dose of the meningitis vaccine is not required.
“These immunization requirements will not only lengthen the time for which immunized students are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, but also will lower their chances of passing diseases to classmates with weakened immune systems, pre-school aged children, the elderly and others,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health officer and Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health.
School-based Health Clinical Director for Cabin Creek Health Systems Dr. George Stablein said, “Vaccines are one of our most powerful tools in healthcare these days. Unfortunately, many children have not gotten to take full advantage of them for one reason or another – often due to difficulty with transportation to their primary care provider. At school-based health centers, such as Riverside Health Center, we are able to overcome some of these issues, as the children are already in school.”
To learn more about required school entry immunizations, visit www.immunization.wv.gov.
Allison.C.Adler@wv.gov, DHHR, 305-558-7899 OR Amber Crist, firstname.lastname@example.org, Cabin Creek Health Clinic, 304-444-2146