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Fill-in-Blank News Release
for County Health Departments

For Release: (Date)
Contact: (______) County Health Department
(Administrator)
(Phone Number)

New Hepatitis B Vaccine Dosage Regimen Approved for School Entry

On July 6th the Oklahoma State Board of Health approved an amendment to immunization regulations that allows adolescents who receive the recently licensed two- dose hepatitis B vaccine regimen to be fully immunized against hepatitis B.  Physicians will have the option of using either the new two-dose regimen, or the previously approved three-dose regimen, for children 11 through 15 years of age.  

“This amendment will be in effect for the upcoming 2000-2001 school year,” said _____, _____ County Health Department Administrator, “for those children who will be entering the seventh through tenth grades.  This should help parents reduce their number of visits to a health care provider to ensure completion of the hepatitis B vaccine series for their adolescents.”

The ________ County Health Department reminds parents of the importance of getting their children’s back-to-school vaccinations now to avoid the long lines in August.  “Parents should make an appointment with their private doctor, or if their insurance does not cover immunizations, or if they have no insurance at all, they can contact the ______ County Health Department for clinic times,” s/he said.

For parents who are uncertain what immunizations their children may need, _____ provided the following immunization requirements for children entering day care or school:

  • Children entering day care should have age-appropriate immunizations such as two doses of hepatitis A vaccine, with the first dose on or after the second birthday, and the second dose six to 18 months later; three doses of hepatitis B vaccine; and one dose of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine given on or after the first birthday, or a parent’s statement of a history of the disease (chickenpox) will be accepted instead of vaccination. Other vaccines required for day care attendance based upon the child’s age include MMR (measles, mumps, rubella); DTaP or DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis); polio; and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib).
  • Children entering kindergarten, first and second grade should have received 5 doses of DTaP/DTP (or 4 doses if the 4th dose was given on or after 4th birthday); 4 doses of polio vaccine (or 3 doses if the 3rd dose was given on or after the 4th birthday); 2 doses of MMR; 3 doses of hepatitis B; 2 doses of hepatitis A, and 1 dose of varicella, or a statement of history of the disease (chickenpox).
  • Children entering third and fourth grades should have received 5 doses of DTaP/DTP (or 4 doses if the 4th dose was given on or after the 4th birthday); 4 doses of polio vaccine (or 3 doses if the 3rd dose was given on or after the 4th birthday); and 2 doses of MMR.
  • Children entering the fifth and sixth grades should have received 3 doses of DTaP/DTP; 3 doses of polio vaccine; and 2 doses of MMR.
  • Children entering the seventh, eighth and ninth grades should have received 3 doses of DTP; 3 doses of polio; 2 doses of MMR; either 2 or 3 doses of hepatitis B (depending on the particular hepatitis B vaccine given); and 2 doses of hepatitis A.
  • Children who will be tenth graders should have received 3 doses of DTP; 3 doses of polio; 2 doses of MMR; and either 2 or 3 doses of hepatitis B (depending on the particular hepatitis B vaccine given).
  • Children entering the eleventh and twelfth grades should have received 3 doses of DTP; 3 doses of polio; and 1 dose of MMR.

“Many children have not yet received varicella (chickenpox) and hepatitis

A vaccines, as these were new requirements in the fall of 1998,” _____ said.

For more information on children’s immunizations, call the _____ County Health Department at (phone number).

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