(WMC-TV) - Children who will be 11 years of age or older on or before September 1 of each school year will be required to receive a Tdap shot in order to attend public or private school in Arkansas. This new requirement is anticipated to be effective September 1, 2014.
The Arkansas Department of Health says the purpose of this change is to better protect Arkansas school children in the age groups with the highest rates of pertussis. Pertussis is also called whooping cough.
In 2013, there were 466 cases of pertussis in Arkansas, up from 80 cases in 2011. Since the disease is highly contagious and easily spread from person to person, the best pertussis protection for older children and adults is through the Tdap shot.
Proposed immunization requirements for students in both private and public school who are entering the upcoming school year include:
Other immunization requirements that will be effective Sept. 1, 2014 include:
There are also changes to the requirements for attending childcare facilities, such as daycares, in Arkansas. In addition to the previous requirements, children in childcare will need one or two Hepatitis A shots, depending on their age. Children will need one to four Polio shots, depending on their age, and to wait at least six months after the third polio shot before getting the fourth one, according to a news release from ADH.
To read more, click here.
If a parent or guardian does not want their child to receive a required shot, they must get an exemption before the start of the 2014-2015 school year. Exemption forms may be requested from the Immunization Section of the Arkansas Department of Health by calling 501-661-2169 or via email at email@example.com.
Copyright 2014 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.
730 North Summit Street