Dear Parent or Guardian:
At this time, we would like to bring your attention to some new school immunization requirements. Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, all West Virginia students entering 7th grade must have had one dose of the Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) and one dose of the meningococcal vaccine. Students entering 12th grade must also have had at least one dose of the Tdap vaccine and a second dose of the meningococcal vaccine. If the first dose of the meningococcal vaccine was received after age 16, then only one dose of this vaccine is required.
Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective preventive measures available and have saved countless lives. The new adolescent immunization requirements will not only lengthen the time for which immunized students are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, but will also lower their chances of passing diseases to the elderly, children and infants, or classmates with weakened immune systems. Immunizations can also help keep adolescents healthy; prevent problems as they grow older; and reduce the spread of disease.
Today, immunizations protect adolescents from:
• Meningitis (meningococcus) – This disease poses a serious threat to adolescents. Meningitis can kill a healthy person in 48 hours or less. Up to 1 in 5 survivors of meningitis have problems that last the rest of their lives, including the loss of limbs, scarring, hearing loss and neurological damage.
• Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Whooping Cough) – Pertussis is spread by coughing and sneezing. Anyone can catch pertussis and spread it to others, including infants. Cases of whooping cough are growing the fastest among adolescents.
Please review the list above and make sure your adolescent is protected against these vaccine-preventable diseases. Call you primary care physician today or the Clay County Health Department to schedule a vaccine review and immunizations for your adolescent. A vaccination clinic will be scheduled during this school year to provide the required immunizations. A consent form will be sent home prior to the vaccination clinic. Please do your part in making sure your adolescent is protected against the dangers of vaccine-preventable diseases.
For more information, please call:
School Nurses-Jennifer Moore, RN or Alicia Johnson, RN
Clay County Health Department