DHEC encourages parents to make sure children are up to date on immunizations before school starts

FILE PHOTO of medical personnel administering vaccine.
FILE PHOTO of medical personnel administering vaccine.(WILX)
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 9:26 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - With schools starting back in a few weeks, DHEC is encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated.

“Vaccinations are an important part of a normal preventive health regimen,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Public Health Director. “Keeping our children current on vaccinations for chicken pox, whooping cough, mumps and measles are why we’re able to safely send them to school settings with little risk of exposure to these vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Children enrolled in school and child care are required to be current on certain vaccinations at the start of each year. Current vaccination requirements for the 2022-2023 school year are available at scdhec.gov/vaccinations.

Here are the most recent updates for the 2022-2023 school year:

  • 2nd graders are now required to have two doses of hepatitis A vaccine with both doses received on or after the first birthday and separated by at least 6 months.
  • 8th graders are now required to have two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine. A child with a positive history of the disease is considered immune and is exempt from this requirement.
  • 10th graders are now required to have three doses of oral and/or inactivated polio vaccine with at least one dose received on or after the fourth birthday.
  • None of these are new vaccines, but rather the existing requirement has been extended to additional grade levels.

DHEC also urges parents not to forget that preteens age 11-12 years old are recommended to get a booster against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (pertussis), called Tdap, human papillomavirus (HPV), and meningitis vaccines. As of the 2020-2021 school year, there has been a new hepatitis A vaccine requirement for children enrolled in child care and kindergarten.

Appointments for certain vaccines can also be made at one of DHEC’s county health departments.

Visit scdhec.gov/healthclinics or call 1-855-472-3432 to make an appointment.

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