FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2013
CONTACT: Claire Smith, (608)
START SCHOOL YEAR OFF RIGHT BY MAKING SURE CHILDREN ARE ON SCHEDULE WITH
August is National Immunization Awareness Month
MADISON—It’s back-to-school time, and state health officials are
encouraging parents to make immunization appointments for their children
before the school year starts.
“A healthy school year begins with children who are up-to-date on
their immunizations,” said Dr. Henry Anderson, State Health Officer.
“Vaccines are among the safest and most cost-effective ways to prevent
disease. They not only protect vaccinated kids, but they also help
protect entire communities, including our elderly neighbors and
relatives -- who can be more vulnerable -- by preventing and reducing
the spread of infectious diseases.”
Families with health insurance will need to schedule these
appointments with their health care provider. State-supplied vaccines
are available at local health departments through the Vaccines for
Children (VFC) program for families whose children are not covered by
insurance, are on Medical Assistance or are American Indian or Alaska
Native. Parents should contact their insurance company if they are
uncertain whether their insurance covers vaccinations.
State requirements and recommendations apply to children in
kindergarten through high school, and vary by grade. For students in
kindergarten through grade 5 (elementary school), required vaccines
- DTaP/DT/Td, to prevent diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (also
known as whooping cough).
- Polio vaccine.
- Measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR).
- Hepatitis B vaccine.
- Varicella vaccine, to prevent chickenpox.
For middle and high school students, an additional dose of varicella
vaccine and a dose of Tdap vaccine are required. Tdap vaccine protects
adolescents and adults against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
Wisconsin teen vaccination rates for the varicella and Tdap vaccines are
well above the national average, according to a recent National
Immunization Survey. Also recommended for adolescents are the HPV
vaccine, to help prevent various cancers, and the meningococcal
conjugate vaccine, to prevent meningitis.
Vaccinations recommended for college students include Tdap,
meningococcal conjugate and HPV vaccines. Meningococcal conjugate
vaccine is particularly important for students who live in dormitories.
To help parents and caregivers understand which vaccines are required
or recommended for their children, go to
To keep track of vaccines children have already received, visit the
Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR):
care providers can help show families how to access their child’s
immunization records through the WIR.
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August 06, 2013