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FOR RELEASE: June 8, 2000
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Avoid the "Back to School" Rush – Get Shots Now

Although it may seem like an issue parents can postpone worrying about for a few months, the Oklahoma State Department of Health says now is the time to get your children's immunizations for the 2000-2001 school year.

Parents should consider the opportunities they have during the summer months to vaccinate their children early and avoid the long back- to-school lines at county health departments or their physician's office.

Children attending school in Oklahoma in the 2000-2001 school year who are in kindergarten through fourth grade must have 5 doses of DTaP, 4 doses of polio, and 2 doses of MMR vaccine.

Children who will be in kindergarten through second grade and seventh through tenth grade must have 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine; children in kindergarten through second grade and seventh through ninth grade must have 2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine; and children in kindergarten through second grade must receive 1 dose of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine.

A child who has had chickenpox does not need varicella vaccine. The month and year the child had chickenpox disease should be recorded on the child's record with the notation, “had disease.”

Parents and caregivers who have questions about the immunizations required for school entry can contact their local county health department or the Oklahoma State Department of Health Immunization Division at (405) 271-4073.

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