"Vaccines are one of public health's greatest triumphs. With the exception of safe water, no other health strategy, not even antibiotics, has had such a tremendous effect on reducing disease and improving health. However, despite the availability of safe and effective vaccines, thousands of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases continue to occur in the United States annually".
"It is a common misconception that only infants and children need vaccines for their health and well being. Even after childhood, vaccinations should continue to be an important aspect of preventive medicine. By receiving recommended vaccines, individuals not only protect themselves and their families, but also help prevent the general public from being exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases".
The Indiana State Department of Health's Immunization Program. Toll Free - ISDH Hotline 1-800-701-0704 M-F 8:30am-4:30pm
Quick Reference Guide
Proof of completed or up-to-date immunizations must be given to the school on entrance and/or at registration. Free or low cost Immunizations are available at the Department of Health or Super Shot.
* Four doses of DTaP/DTP/DT/Td are acceptable if the fourth dose was administered on or after the child's fourth birthday.
** Polio -Three doses of polio vaccine are acceptable if 3rd dose was administered on or after child's fourth birthday and the doses are all IPV or all OPV
*** Hepatitis B -Two dose alternative adolescent schedule (Recombivax HB given at age 11-15 years x 2 doses) is acceptabel if properly documented.
~ Chickenpox - Physician documentation of disease history, including month and year, is proof of immunity for preschool and kindergarten-aged children. A signed statement from the parent/guardian indicating history of disease, including month and year is required for children in grades 1-12.
! 2 Meningococcal vaccines are recommended but not required for grades 11 and 12.
^ 2 Hepatitis A immunizations are recommended but not required for kindergarten students.
Contact your family health care provider for vaccine and vaccine related questions.
NEWLY ENROLLED STUDENT INFORMATION
Exclusion from School
When a child enrolls in a school corporation, the student's parent/guardian must provide proof the student has been immunized or that a current religious or medical objection is on file. The parent/guardian must provide the school corporation with complete immunization records prior to the beginning of the school year.
Medical or Religious Objections
Medical objections (medical objection form) to immunizations must be signed by a physician and parent/guardian each year. The medical exemption must contain a physician's certification that a particular immunization is detrimental to the child's health. The objections must be on file with the school. Religious objections (religious objection form) may be signed by the parent/guardian each year and must be on file with the school. A philosophical objection is not allowed in Indiana.
Your child may receive low cost immunizations at the Department of Health Immunization Clinic or at a Super Shot site. The Department of Health is located at 4813 New Haven Ave. (449-7514). Call for an appointment. For Super Shots site information, click their logo or call 424-7468. No appointment is necessary. Children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Take a copy of your child's immunization records.
Please note that there have been significant changes made to the immunization requirements for grades 6-12. The Indiana State Department of Health has informed school districts that in addition to current requirements all students in grades 6-12 must also have the following immunizations by the start of the 2010-2011 school year:
- 2 Varicella (chickenpox): Presently, only 1 varicella is required for students. If your child has had chickenpox disease they are NOT required to get these immunizations, but instead the parent/guardian is required to provide the school with a signed note, including the month and date of the disease occurrence. A physician signature or verification is not required for grades 6-12.
- 1 Tdap: This immunization is a combination shot that protects against tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough)
- 1 MCV4 (Menactra): This immunization protects against meningococcal meningitis.
After receiving these immunizations, please provide a copy of your updated shot record to your school nurse.
Meningococcal disease is a dangerous disease that can strike children and youth. The disease can progress rapidly and within hours of the first symptoms, may result in death or permanent disability including loss of hearing, brain damage, and limb amputations.
Current information about the need for the meningococcal vaccine may be view from the Center for Disease Control
Hepatitis B Vaccine
Proof of Hepatitis B immunizations are required for all students enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Provide the proof of immunizations to your school nurse.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection
HPV is a virus that causes many infections. HPV infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD). This infection is spread by skin-to-skin contact during sex with a person infected with HPV. It causes genital warts or infection of the cervix (the upper part of the vagina) which connects the uterus or womb. The best way to prevent getting HPV is to not have sex, because a person usually can't tell if he or she is infected. Infected people can give the virus to others during sexual contact without knowing it. Most females get HPV soon after becoming sexually active. Even though the HPV infection can go away on its own, it may last for months or years. There is no medication to treat HPV infection so it is very important to prevent infection or find its presence early. HPV infection can cause cervical changes that can lead to cancer of the cervix. It can also cause cancer of other genital organs. A Pap test, which examines the cells of the cervix, can find the presence of these cervical changes due to HPV infection. If the Pap test shows abnormal cells, a health care provider will do more tests and/or provide treatment as needed.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine
In June 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed a vaccine that can prevent HPV infection. It is to be used in girls and young women 9 to 26 years old. It is the first vaccine that can prevent cervical cancer. There are over 100 different types of HPV virus. The vaccine only protects against four types of HPV. Two types (types 16 and 18) are known to cause 70% of cervical cancer. The other two types (types 6 and 11) can cause 90% of genital warts. The vaccine has been found to be 90-100% effective in preventing these four types of HPV infection. The vaccine does not treat girls or young women who are already infected with these four types of HPV or have genital warts. The new vaccine is a series of three shots over six months. The vaccine is not made from live virus nor does it contain thimerosal or mercury. The vaccine is not licensed to give to boys and young men, although it is being tested in males. Because the vaccine prevents infection by these four types of HPV, it works best in girls and young women who have not been in contact with the HPV infection. The vaccine is licensed for girls/young women ages 9 to 26 years. The vaccine has been found to give better protection at the younger ages as compared to older ages. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends the HPV vaccine for all 11 and 12 year old girls and for those 9-26 who have not yet been vaccinated. Any concerns or questions should be discussed with a health care provider. No one knows how long the vaccine will protect a recipient. Research has shown that there is at least a 5 year protection rate. The vaccine is not recommended for someone who is pregnant. The vaccine is not recommended for those who have something wrong with their immune system or certain other medical conditions. Major side effects are rare. The most common side effects are swelling or redness at the site of the shot and possibly fainting or nausea. These side effects are the same as with other vaccines. The vaccine does not replace the need for cervical cancer screening through Pap tests. All girls and young women who have received the HPV vaccine and are sexually active, need regular Pap tests to find precancerous changes in the cervix and to have any precancerous changes treated before cervical cancer develops.
The Center for Disease Control reports "although the childhood immunization program in the United States has reduced the burden of vaccine-preventable disease substantially among children, substantial vaccine-preventable morbidity and mortality from diseases such as pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, and pneumococcal infections continue to occur among adults." Adults must be mindful and alert to keep themselves free from exposure and covered against a variety of diseases. Adults should contact their health care provider for information about the recommended Adult Immunization Schedule.