Northwest NEWS

August 23, 1999


Immunization requirements

   For children entering sixth grade, and for transfer students in grades 7-12, a second dose of MMR is required. Adolescents (11-18 year olds) should receive a tetanus/diphtheria booster if it's been at least five years since their last one and hepatitis B vaccine if they haven't already completed the three-dose series.

   It is recommended that adolescents who have not had chickenpox disease receive varicalla (chickenpox) vaccine, although it is not a school or childcare requirement in Washington state.

   Although state law requires immunizations for school and childcare, parents are allowed to claim an exemption based on medical, religion or personal reasons. However, an unimmunized child can be excluded from school during a disease outbreak situation.

   Immunizations protect children and communities from potentially life-threatening diseases. The county's child immunization rate is among the best in the nation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, we still need to reach our year 2000 goal of 90% of preschool children immunized on time.

   The prevention and control of contagious diseases is crucial to the community's health. Public Health-Seattle and King County and the county's health care providers have made immunizations a major priority.

   A recorded list of Public Health immunization clinics is available to families by calling (206) 296-4949. Bring your child's immunization record card so that the child will receive all age-appropriate immunizations. The administration fee for each dose of back-to-school vaccine is $10, though no one will be turned away if they are unable to pay.

   All children enrolled in childcare, preschool, or school are required to have received: diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis (DTaP or DTP) vaccine, polio vaccine, measles/mumps/rubella vaccine (MMR). Hepatitis B vaccine is required for children enrolled in childcare and preschool and kindergarten through second grade. Children under age five years enrolled in childcare or preschool must also have haemophilus influenzae B (Hib) vaccine. The number of doses needed for each of these vaccines vary according to the child's age.

   Community Back to School Immunization Clinics are located at: