July 26, 2012

Prepare for the School Year with Required Immunizations

DHSS Reminds Parents to Add Immunizations to Back to School Supply Lists

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reminds parents to prepare for the upcoming school year now by getting their children's annual physical and required immunizations.

"Immunizations are proven to be one of the most successful and cost-effective ways to prevent serious diseases," said Margaret Donnelly, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. "Even though we're still on summer vacation, we encourage parents to make their children's immunization appointments now instead of waiting until the busy days right before school begins."

Missouri law requires children in Kindergarten through 12th grade to receive immunizations to protect against 9 vaccine-preventable diseases. This helps protect everyone including students, teachers, staff and other community members.

Children attending Kindergarten through 12th grade are required to have the following up-to-date immunizations or booster shots:

  • DTaP - Diptheria, tetanus and pertussis or DT - diptheria and tetanus
  • Tdap - Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (required for 8th, 9th and 10th grade)
  • IPV - Polio
  • Hepatitis B
  • MMR- Measles, mumps, rubella
  • Varicella - Chickenpox

Most vaccines are covered by health insurance and children 18 and younger may be eligible to get immunizations for free through the Vaccines for Children Program if they are Medicaid eligible, uninsured, underinsured or an American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Contact your health care provider to ensure your child is up to date on immunizations. For more information visit www.health.mo.gov/immunizations or contact your local public health agency.