Two New Tennessee Immunization Requirements Effective In July

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Two new immunization requirements will go into effect July 1, for individuals enrolling in kindergarten and college. Children enrolling in kindergarten will be required to have two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine. New full time enrollees in Tennessee colleges will now be required to have two doses of varicella vaccine.

These requirements are a continuation of the immunization requirements issued by the Tennessee Department of Health in March 2010 for children enrolling in preschool, kindergarten, and seventh grade, or as a new student entering a Tennessee school.

A new Immunization Certificate is required for children enrolling in pre-school, kindergarten, and seventh grade, or for new enrollees in a Tennessee school other than kindergarten or seventh grade.

Immunizations are one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to protect children against childhood diseases and Tennessee law requires documented immunizations. Otherwise, children may be prevented from attending childcare, school, or college.

“We are continuing to protect more young children and adolescents than ever before from vaccine-preventable diseases that can cause serious illness or death,” said Nettie Gerstle, communicable disease program manager for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department. “These new requirements will build awareness among parents of the health benefits of these vaccines and their importance in sustaining and promoting the health of children and the community.”

Infants entering child care facilities must be up-to-date at the time of enrollment and are required to provide an updated certificate after completing all of the required vaccines due by 18 months of age must have the following:

-Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTaP, or DT if appropriate)
-Poliomyelitis (IPV or OPV)
-Measles, Mumps, Rubella (one dose of each, usually given together as MMR)
-Varicella (one dose or history of disease)
-Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), age younger than five years only
-Hepatitis B (HBV)
-Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), age younger than 5 years only
-Hepatitis A – 1 dose, required by 18 months of age or older

Children enrolling in kindergarten must have the following:

-Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTaP, or DT if appropriate)
-Hepatitis B (HBV)
-Measles, Mumps, Rubella (two doses of each, usually given together as MMR)
-Poliomyelitis (IPV or OPV) – final dose on or after the fourth birthday now required
-Varicella (two doses or history of disease): previously only one dose was required (July 1, 2010)
-Hepatitis A –total of two doses, spaced at least six months apart (July 1, 2011)

All children entering seventh grade (including currently enrolled students) must have the following:

-Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster (“Tdap”) – not required if a Td booster dose given less than five years before seventh grade entry is recorded on the DTaP/Td line (no later than October 1, 2010)
-Verification of immunity to varicella – two doses or history of disease

Children who are new enrollees in a Tennessee school in grades other than Kindergarten or seventh must have the following:

-Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTaP, or DT if appropriate)
-Measles, Mumps, Rubella (two doses of each, usually given together as MMR)
-Poliomyelitis (IPV or OPV) – final dose on or after the fourth birthday
-Varicella (two doses or history of disease) – previously only one dose was required
-Hepatitis B (HBV) – previously only for Kindergarten, seventh grade entry

Full-time Tennessee college students must have the following:

-Measles, Mumps, Rubella (two doses of each, usually given together as MMR): if born on or after January 1, 1957 only.
-Varicella (two doses or history of disease): if born on or after January 1, 1980 only, Effective (July 1, 2011)
-Hepatitis B (HBV) – only for health science students expected to have patient contact (before patient contact begins). Effective (July 1, 2011)

Students should also consider the need for the meningococcal vaccine, particularly if the student will be living in a dormitory.

Contact your medical provider or the Health Department to obtain any needed vaccinations and the new school Immunization Certificate. Vaccinations are available during regular clinic hours on a walk-in basis at many Health Department clinics. For locations and clinic hours, call 209-8393.

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