June 3, 2010
The Texas Department of State Health Services is encouraging parents to get
their children vaccinated now to avoid the back-to-school rush later this
Last year DSHS implemented new vaccination requirements for five vaccines for
students in kindergarten and seventh grade. The new requirements are being
phased in over several years.
For the 2010-2011 school year, the requirements also will apply to first- and
eighth-graders who did not receive the required vaccines in kindergarten or
“We want parents to plan ahead,” said Dr. David Lakey, DSHS commissioner.
“Schoolchildren should get vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid long wait
times at clinics and ensure they are protected before the first day of
With new requirements implemented last year, many physicians’ offices and
clinics were overwhelmed last summer by last-minute demand for vaccines.
Children are required to be fully immunized before the first day of school. Last
year DSHS extended the deadline for parents to get their children in compliance
with some of the vaccination requirements for school attendance.
Following are the new vaccination requirements announced last year. For a
complete list of all vaccine requirements, go to www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school/.
- Before attending the first day of school, kindergarteners and first-graders
need to have had: two varicella or chickenpox vaccines, two hepatitis A vaccines
and two MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines.
- Seventh through 12th grade students need to have had one booster shot of the
Tdap vaccine (a combination of the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccines).
- Students entering seventh grade are required to have had a booster dose of
Tdap only if it has been five years since their last dose of a
- Eighth through twelfth grade students need to have had a booster dose of
Tdap only if has been 10 years since their last dose of tetanus-containing
- Seventh- and eighth-graders need to get two doses of chickenpox vaccine if
they have not had the illness and one dose of the meningitis vaccine.
(News Media Contact: Christine DeLoma, DSHS
Assistant Press Officer, 512-458-7511.)
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