The State of Arkansas Immunization Requirements will have changes for School Year 2014-15. These changes are in conjunction with the current State required Immunization Requirements. These requirements will take effect September 1, 2014.
Kindergarten and Grade 1 students will be required to have one Hepatitis A vaccine that was given on or after his/her first birthday. A second dose will be given 6 months after the first dose.
Kindergarten through Grade 12 students need to complete a series of 3 polio vaccines. One of the shots must have been given on or after the students fourth birthday.
All Students age 11 years and older will be required to have one Tdap vaccine. This is ALL students age 11 and older. The purpose of this change it to better protect Arkansas school children in the age groups with the highest rates of Pertussis. Pertussis is also called Whooping cough. Since the disease is highly contagious and easily spread from person to person, the best pertussis protection for older children and adults is through the Tdap shot. The Tdap also protects against Tetanus and Diptheria.
All 7th graders will be required to have one MCV4 (meningitis) vaccine and will get a booster MCV4 vaccine at age 16. Also, all students age 16 on or before September 1st 2014 will be required to have one MCV4. Students turning age 16 on or before September 1st 2014 will have until October 1, 2014 to meet this new requirement. The purpose of this vaccine is for protection against Meningococcal disease, a very serious illness in which death can occur in as little as a few hours.
All students will be required to have TWO Varicella (chicken pox) vaccines. If the student has had the Chicken Pox disease as a child, the only acceptable notification of this is a letter from your DOCTOR, NURSE PRACTITIONER, OR PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT. The State will no longer accept a letter from the Parent.
These shots are available through local health departments and some primary care doctor offices. The Boone County Health Department phone number is 870-743-5244. You will need to call and schedule an appointment. We encourage you to do this right away. Due to the new requirements, this will affect many students and the health department will be very busy. You also have the option to go to any health department near you to get these shots (they might be able to make a sooner appointment for you).