- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Virginia Department of Health says the following are the minimum immunization requirements for youths to attend schools and day care programs:

Documentary proof shall be provided of adequate age appropriate immunization with the prescribed number of doses of vaccine indicated below for attendance at a public or private elementary, middle or secondary school, child care center, nursery school, family day care home or developmental center.

For more information, visit www.vdh.state.va.us/epidemiology/Immunization/requirements.htm.

Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP, DTP or Tdap): A minimum of three doses. A child must have at least one dose of DTaP or DTP vaccine on or after the fourth birthday. DT (diphtheria, tetanus) vaccine is required for children who are medically exempt from the pertussis containing vaccine (DTaP or DTP). Adult Td is required for children 7 and older who do not meet the minimum requirements for tetanus and diphtheria. Since July 1, 2006, a booster dose of Tdap vaccine is required for all children entering the sixth grade, if at least five years have passed since the last dose of tetanus-containing vaccine.

Hemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine: This vaccine is required only for children up to 60 months of age. A primary series consists of either two or three doses (depending on the manufacturer). However, the child’s current age and not the number of prior doses received govern the number of doses required. Unvaccinated children ages 15 to 60 months are required to have only one dose of vaccine.

Hepatitis B vaccine: A complete series of three doses of hepatitis B vaccine is required for all children. However, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a two-dose schedule only for adolescents 11 to 15 years of age and only when the Merck brand (Recombivax HB) Adult Formulation Hepatitis B Vaccine is used. If the two-dose schedule is used for adolescents 11 to 15 years of age, it must be clearly documented on the school form.

Human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV): A complete series of three doses of HPV vaccine is required for female students. The first dose shall be administered before the child enters the sixth grade. After reviewing educational materials approved by the board of health, the parent or guardian, at the parent’s or guardian’s sole discretion, may elect for the child not to receive the HPV vaccine.

Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine: A minimum of two measles, one mumps, and one rubella. (Most children receive two doses of each because the vaccine usually administered is the combination vaccine MMR). The first dose must be administered at age 12 months or older. The second dose of vaccine does not have to be administered until age 4 to 6 years (usually at entry to kindergarten) but can be administered at any time after the minimum interval between dose one and dose two.

Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine: This vaccine is required only for children younger than 2. Two to four doses, depending on age at first dose, of pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine are required.

Polio vaccine: A minimum of three doses of polio vaccine. One dose must be administered on or after the fourth birthday. A fourth dose is required if the three-dose primary series consisted of a combination of OPV and IPV.

Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine: All susceptible children born on and after Jan. 1, 1997, shall be required to have one dose of chickenpox vaccine administered at age 12 months or older.

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