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Back to school includes immunizations to keep ALL students safe

PROVO, UTAH (August 8, 2011) - - Pencils and binders are not the only thing students need as they prepare to return to school. Children entering kindergarten or seventh grade are required by law to receive standard immunizations before classes begin again.

Each student must have proof of receiving the immunizations in order to be allowed to attend school. Kindergartners need to have shots for DTP/DTaP/DT, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A and Varicella (chickenpox.) For seventh graders, the same immunizations are required, along with a Tdap booster.

Pauline Hartvigsen, Utah County Health Department immunization bureau director, said this requirement insures health safety for children and their families. "Disease prevention is a key to protect you from others and protect others from any diseases that you may have," Hartvigsen said. "Ultimately, the immunizations are required to help everyone be healthy and to reduce preventable diseases in the United States."

According to the statewide immunization program, a child may be allowed to attend school conditionally only if at least one dose of each required immunization has been completed and the rest are scheduled for completion. If not, the child cannot remain at school.

Additionally, parents may obtain an exemption form for those children who claim exemption to immunization for medical, religious, or personal reasons.

For questions regarding your child's immunization status, contact your child's health care provider, the Utah County Health Department of the Immunization Hotline (801-851-7025), or see www.UtahCountyHealth.org/immunizations.

The Utah County Health Department seeks to promote health, and prevent avoidable disease and injury by monitoring the health of our community, and assuring conditions in which people can be healthy. For details about UCHD programs or services, please visit www.UtahCountyHealth.org or call 801-851-7000. Or you can follow the UCHD at Twitter or be a fan on Facebook.