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Sixth-graders, college freshmen need shots under new state vaccine rules

About 31,000 Clark County sixth-graders ages 11 and 12 need a diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough booster, or they won’t be allowed to enroll in public or private school this upcoming school year, Southern Nevada Health District immunization officials said Thursday.

Under new state immunization requirements, children entering the seventh grade who attend school in Nevada must have received the vaccine, also known as DTaP, by the start of the school year.

The requirement, which is in line with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation, stems from outbreaks of whooping cough in Clark, Elko, Washoe and White Pine counties in recent years.

Veronica Morata-Nichols, health district immunization manager, told the agency’s board of health Thursday that the agency is tasked with ensuring middle school children receive their booster.

In recent weeks, the health district assessed two middle schools — a public and a private one — to find out whether children had received the booster.

“We were going to look at 60 charts,” Morata-Nichols told the board. “But we stopped at 30 because 30 out of 30 didn’t have the DTaP vaccine.”

In addition to the booster, new immunization requirements call for children enrolled in child care facilities to be immunized against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, varicella (chickenpox) and streptococcus pneumonia.

College freshman under age 23 who attend school in Nevada and plan to live in campus housing this fall will have to provide proof that they have received the vaccine against bacterial meningitis.

The health district will hold a special immunization clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at 625 Shadow Lane for sixth-graders and college freshman.

Other childhood immunizations also will be available, health officials said.

Parents must bring immunization records.

Patients will be charged $16 for one immunization or $20 for two or more immunizations. Some vaccines may require an additional fee.

For more information, go to www.SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict.org, or call 759-0850.

Parents also can contact their pediatricians or health care providers for information.

 

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