The start of school is almost here and a number of students may be getting an unexpected shot before they head back to class. A new immunization requirement is in effect for this school year, and according to Pulaski County Health Nurse Andrea Keller, the new immunization is for chickenpox in an effort to curb the recent outbreaks.
“They – I’m not sure how many years ago it was – required the second dose to start kindergarten, and there were a gap of kids that were already in 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade that just had the first dose and they just never enforced the second dose with those, and now because of the varicella outbreaks they have been seeing, they want everyone to have that second dose before school starts this fall,” Keller explained.
Previously, only one dose of the vaccine had been required for most school grades, but now, that second dose will be required. Children usually receive the chickenpox vaccine at the ages of 1 and 4 if their doctor follows the government’s recommended immunization schedule.