Vac­ci­na­tions or proof of ap­point­ment needed by start of school

Health Dept. has lim­ited free clinic spots avail­able

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

Time is run­ning out for fam­i­lies of stu­dents in need of vac­ci­na­tions be­fore school starts.

Be­gin­ning this year, kinder­garten, first and sec­ond grade stu­dents are re­quired to have two doses of the Vari­cella (chick­en­pox) vac­cine.

Also be­gin­ning this year, sev­enth,

eighth and ninth grade stu­dents are re­quired to have one dose of the Tdap (per­tus­sis) vac­cine and one dose of the meningo­coc­cal vac­cine.

In ad­di­tion, all stu­dents are re­quired to have the DTP/DTaP (Tetanus and diph­the­ria), po­lio, HIB (haemophilus In­fluenza type B), MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), hep­ati­tis B and vari­cella (chick­en­pox) vac­ci­na­tions.

A full list of the state vac­ci­na­tion re­quire­ments by age and grade can be found on the Mary­land Depart­ment of Health and Men­tal Hy­giene web­site.

Katie O’Mal­ley-Simp­son, Charles County Pub­lic Schools spokes­woman, said that stu­dents must have proof of vac­ci­na­tion or proof of a vac­ci­na­tion ap­point­ment sched­uled within the next 20 cal­en­dar days by their first day of school, or they will be ex­cluded from school.

The first day of school for Charles County pub­lic school stu­dents is Aug. 29.

The Charles County Depart­ment of Health has a lim­ited num­ber of free vac­ci­na­tion clin­ics avail­able by ap­point­ment only.

“Our goal here at the health depart­ment is to help fam­i­lies in the com­mu­nity to re­main healthy, par­tic­u­larly in terms of dis­eases that can be pre­vented by vac­ci­na­tions,” said Lois Bev­er­age, nurse pro­gram man­ager for child im­mu­niza­tions.

Bev­er­age said the im­por­tance of child vac­ci­na­tions can­not be un­der­stated, par­tic­u­larly in pro­tect­ing the com­mu­nity’s most vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers.

“Those un­der six months, who are too young for vac­ci­na­tions, de­pend on the rest of us not to bring dis­eases, such as per­tus­sis, into their world,” Bev­er­age said.

To sched­ule an ap­point­ment with the Health Depart­ment, call 301-6096900, ext. 018.

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