While it seems that the school year just ended, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reminds parents not to wait until the last minute for back-to-school immunizations. Mississippi state law requires children to be immunized against childhood diseases to enter public or private school, Head Start or daycare.
More than 99 percent of all students entering kindergarten in Mississippi are up to date on their immunizations, protecting them – and others who cannot be vaccinated – against potentially deadly diseases.
“There are many options for where to get your vaccinations now, including private medical providers, retail pharmacies and county health departments,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “Regardless of where you have your child vaccinated, it’s incredibly important to make sure they are up to date on their immunizations. It is the best protection for your child and those around them.”
There are required vaccinations for first-time school entry in Mississippi as well as a requirement for 7th grade entry.
“A Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) booster vaccination is required for those entering seventh grade. To make sure your adolescent is completely protected, we also recommend they get the HPV (human papillomavirus) and meningococcal vaccinations at the same time,” said Dr. Byers.
Parents must provide the school with a Certificate of Immunization Compliance (Form 121) from their immunization provider prior to school entry.
You may check with your physician or county health department if you have questions about which immunizations your child will need. Childhood immunizations are available at county health departments by appointment.
For more information on immunization requirements or medical exemptions for school entry, visit www.HealthyMS.com/immunizations.