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Back-to-School Vaccine Reminder
Updated July 30, 2014 7:00 AM | Filed under: Health
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(UNDATED) - As the school year begins for some students this week, doctors and schools want to remind parents that the state's immunization requirements have changed slightly.

Two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine are now required for all incoming kindergarten students before they can attend school, and those two doses must be at least six months apart.

"It's kind of a national trend, and what we found is that when we required two doses for children, you virtually eliminate Hepatitis A in adults," said Melissa McMasters, coordinator of the immunization program for the Marion County Public Health Department.

Students entering sixth grade must now have a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis/whooping cough) vaccine, a meningitis vaccine and two shots for chicken pox before the first day of school. And a new requirement for incoming high school seniors is a second immunization for meningitis.

"It's to get that final boost before college age, where you'd be living in a dormitory. That type of environment increases the risk for meningitis," McMasters said.

McMasters says most children will have received these vaccines if they are getting regular checkups with their pediatrician.

A list of the immunization requirements and any clinics that may be held can be obtained from any county health department.

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