Immunization clinics scheduled
Madison’s City Schools are offering several vaccination clinics to make sure students meet new immunization guidelines before the start of the next school year.
Parents are now receiving notices about the expiration of their child’s Blue Immunization Cards, many of which expire Aug. 9. The changes are in relation to preschoolers and students entering the sixth grade, who will now be required additional immunizations this year. Preschoolers, including those attending child care and home daycare facilities, will be required to receive the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). Students entering sixth grade are now required to have a tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination if they are 11 years of age or older.
The school-specific clinics are for sixth grade students and will be held at the Madison County Health Department at 301 Max Luther Drive in Huntsville.
A general vaccine clinic will be held for Bob Jones High School, Discovery Middle School and Liberty Middle School, June 10, 2-4 p.m. Tdap vaccination clinics for rising sixth graders will be held June 3 form 2-4 p.m. for Horizon, Madison, Mill Creek and West Madison elementaries. Columbia, Heritage and Rainbow clinics were held earlier in the month.
Parents will need to bring their current blue card to the clinic. Private physicians can also provide the vaccine.
The PCV vaccine is being advise for all children ages 2 to 59 months. The vaccine should routinely be given at ages 2, 4, 6 months, and 12 through 15 months of age. This vaccine also may be given to children 60 to 71 months of age in certain high-risk groups.
PCV helps prevent invasive disease caused by certain types of the bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae. These diseases include bloodstream infections and meningitis.
In addition, each student 11 or older who enters the sixth grade will be required to have a new certificate of immunization. This is because of the change from tetanus-diphtheria (Td) to tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.
The Tdap vaccine will protect adolescents from pertussis and keep them from spreading disease to siblings, other family members and other students. The Tdap school requirement will go up by one higher grade each school year. For example, Tdap will be required for students entering seventh grade in 2011-2012, eighth grade in 2012-2013, up through 12th grade in 2016-2017.