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Make sure physicals and immunizations are current

Katherine Hulec comforts her son Tyler, 5, as Edie Carpenter gives a shot to the soon-to-be kindergartner at the Pasco County Health Department in New Port Richey.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Katherine Hulec comforts her son Tyler, 5, as Edie Carpenter gives a shot to the soon-to-be kindergartner at the Pasco County Health Department in New Port Richey.

The summer's flying by and you still haven't gotten that DPT immunization for your child. That could be a problem come the first day of school.

So now's the time to make an appointment with your pediatrician or call the Pasco County Health Department, where immunizations are administered for free. All you need to do is bring your child's immunization record with you.

The Health Department also offers well physicals for $25 and sports physicals for $30. Parents might also want to give their child's school a call to see if any local physicians are giving physicals at a reduced rate.

Requirements

The immunization record must show that the student has met the minimum state requirements. (Note: Immunizations are scheduled based on age, not grade; age-appropriate doses are indicated below.)

Pre-K

• Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine

• Polio vaccine

• MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella)

• Hepatitis B vaccine

• Varicella vaccine (or date of disease)

• Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine

• Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (effective Jan. 1, 2008, for children age 2 to 59 months)

Kindergarten/Grade 1

• Four or five doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine

• Three or four doses of polio vaccine

• Two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine

• Hepatitis B series

• Two doses of varicella vaccine (effective school year 2008-09)

Grades 2-6

• Four or five doses DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus)

• Three or four doses polio vaccine (IPV, OPV)

• Two doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)

• Hepatitis B series

• One dose of varicella vaccine or date of disease (year) as verified by parent or physician

Grades 7-12

• Four or five doses DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus)

• Three or four doses polio vaccine (IPV, OPV)

• Two doses MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)

• Hepatitis B series

Seventh grade only

• One dose Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)

Grades 8-12

• One dose Td (tetanus, diphtheria) or Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)

Grades 7 and 8 only

One dose varicella or date of disease

Meningococcal shots

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that 11- to 12-year-olds receive a single shot of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) during their routine physician visit. If your teenager missed getting the vaccine, ask the doctor or health department about getting it now. Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection that can lead to swelling of the lining around the brain and spinal cord.

While these infections are rare, bacterial meningitis is highly contagious. According to the CDC, of those adolescents who become infected, 10 percent will die and 15 percent will have long-term problems as a result of the infection. The vaccine provides protection against these infections.

Immunization waivers

Students who are enrolling in Pasco County, and who have previously attended school in Florida, are granted a 30-day period for their previous immunization records to arrive. They must complete a 30-day waiver form. The parent or guardian signs a statement agreeing to get any needed immunizations for the child if the information in the records is incomplete.

Note: 30-day waivers are not applicable for first-time enrollees (such as kindergarten or prekindergarten students) or seventh-graders.

Homeless students are the only exception to this rule. Florida statute gives homeless students a 30-day grace period to comply.

Physicals

A physical exam report completed within one year prior to enrollment is required for any student who has never attended school in Florida, such as kindergarten students and out-of-state transfers. Homeless students are the only exception to this rule. Florida statute gives homeless students a 30-day grace period to comply.

Fast facts

County Health Department family clinics

Dade City

13941 15th St.

(352) 521-1450

Hudson

11511 Denton Ave.

(727) 861-5661

New Port Richey

10841 Little Road

(727) 861-5260

Land O'Lakes

4135 Land O'Lakes Blvd.

(813) 558-5173

Zephyrhills

4717 Airport Road

(813) 780-0740

Make sure physicals and immunizations are current 08/01/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 1, 2009 4:31am]
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