Crawford County Health Department will offer special immunization clinics at its offices this summer in order to help school-age children stay healthy and meet state requirements.
The CCHD will not provide school physicals this year but will provide evening appointments for shots and lead screening on June 18, July 9 and 23, and Aug. 6, according to CCHD Nursing Supervisor Terry Shaffer.
Parents are encouraged to call soon to schedule appointments in order to avoid long waits at the department that usually accompany the last minute rush in July and August.
As in the past, any child two years of age or older entering a school program must show proof of having received four or more doses of Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTP or DTaP) vaccine, three or more doses of polio vaccine, and one dose of live measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine on or after the first birthday.
They must also show proof of having received at least one dose of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine on or after the first birthday unless they have proof of prior varicella disease or laboratory evidence of varicella immunity.
Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and Hepatitis B vaccinations are required for preschoolers as well.
A new requirement for the 2014-15 school year, children less than five years of age must also have received at least one dose of pneumococcal vaccine prior to entering any school program.
Students entering kindergarten must show proof of having received a booster dose of DTP or DTaP vaccine and polio vaccine on or after the fourth birthday as well as a total of two doses each of varicella and MMR vaccine, the first doses having been on or after the first birthday and the second doses no less than four weeks after the first.
The second varicella vaccination is a new requirement for this fall.
Similar to last year, any child entering middle school or high school must show proof of receiving one dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) vaccine.
New this fall, students entering the sixth and ninth grades must have proof of two doses of varicella vaccine given at least a month apart and after their first birthdays.
While it is not currently required, the department encourages parents to also consider meningitis and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations for their adolescent children. Next school year the meningitis vaccination will be required for students entering the sixth and 12th grades.
In regards to lead screening, Illinois law requires that children between ages six months and six years be screened/assessed for lead poisoning before being admitted to a day care center, day care home, preschool, nursery school, kindergarten or other licensed child care facility.
Parents wishing to schedule appointments or having questions about vaccinations or lead screening may contact the department at 544-8798.