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Earlier this year, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) issued a letter to physicians and school administrators informing them of changes to required immunizations for students. With schools throughout Texas resuming classes in the coming weeks, now is a good time to remind your clients of these new vaccine requirements, which became effective on Aug. 1, 2009.

Hepatitis A Vaccine: All students entering kindergarten in Texas will be required to have two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine: All students entering kindergarten in Texas will be required to have two doses of the MMR vaccine.

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine: All Texas students entering kindergarten and seventh grade will be required to have two doses of this vaccine. However, a written statement from a parent, guardian, school nurse, or physician attesting that a child has been exposed to, or has a positive history of chickenpox, or otherwise is immune, is acceptable in lieu of immunization.

Tetanus, Diphtheria, and acellular pertussis-containing vaccine (Tdap): All Texas students entering seventh grade will be required to have one dose of the Tdap vaccine. Students in seventh grade will be required to have a booster dose of Tdap only if it has been five years since their last dose of a tetanus-containing vaccine. Students in grades 8-12 are required to have a booster dose of Tdap if it has been 10 years since their previous dose of a tetanus-containing vaccine.

Meningococcal Vaccine: All students entering seventh grade will be required to have one dose of this vaccine.

If you or your client has any questions about the vaccines listed above, please contact your local school district or the Texas DSHS at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/default.shtm.

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