Dare County schools announced this week that new immunizations are now required both for children who are starting kindergarten and those who are entering seventh grade on or after July 1, 2015 to protect them from serious diseases.
Kindergartners will now be required to have two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine if they do not have a history of the disease documented by a health care provider, and the fourth dose of polio vaccine must be given after 4 years of age and before entering school for the first time.
Children who start seventh grade on or after July 1 will be required to one dose each of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) and meningococcal vaccines if they have not previously received these vaccines.
“Thanks to the success of vaccines we don’t see these diseases very often,” the schools said in a news release. “However, they do still exist and can cause serious illness, disabilities and even death. Don’t let your child go unprotected.”
The news release notes that vaccines are safe and effective. The most common side effects are pain and swelling at the site where the shot was given. Some people may experience a headache and fever. Serious reactions to vaccines are very rare.
Your child will have to provide proof of vaccination on the first day of school. Please remember to bring your child’s shot record for school entry. You can get your child’s shot record from his/her doctor or the Dare County Department of Public Health in Manteo at 475-5003 or in Frisco at 475-9320.
To learn more about these vaccines and the diseases they prevent visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines or the North Carolina Immunization Branch website at www.immunize.nc.gov.