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Want to give school a shot? Get one from doctor first

By MICHELE MILLER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 4, 2002

Those whose children need required immunizations to attend school should make that doctor's appointment pronto or visit one of the clinics at the Pasco Health Department where free immunizations are given.

"The tetanus shot shortage is over," said Marilyn Koop, supervisor of student services/health for the Pasco County School District.

Still, those who have already obtained temporary waivers for the tetanus shot need not rush right out and have their child vaccinated, Koop said. "The Health Department doesn't want everyone to show up at once, overwhelming the system, so we'll be honoring dates that are on existing temporary waivers."

The Pasco County Health Department offers a variety of services such as well-child checkups, early periodic screening, free immunizations and sports physicals.

For information contact the following Pasco County health clinics: West -- 10841 Little Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654, (727) 862-0782 and 11511 Denton Ave., Hudson, FL 34667, (727) 863-2444; Central -- 4135 Land O'Lakes Blvd., Land O'Lakes, FL 34639, (813) 558-5173; East -- 13941 15th St., Dade City, FL 33525, (352) 521-1450 and 39048 Alston Ave., Zephyrhills, FL 33540, (813) 782-1740.

Immunization record requirements: A summary of changes for school year 2002-2003: The requirement for a second dose of measles vaccine, preferably MMR, has been extended to children attending grades kindergarten through 12. The requirement for the hepatitis B vaccine series has been extended to children attending grades kindergarten through 4 and 7 through 12. The requirement for a tetanus diphtheria, or Td, booster has been extended to children attending grades 7 through 12.

Detail by grade:

Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4 (DOE code 1): Certificate of immunization (DOH 680) showing immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis polio measles (two doses, preferably MMR), mumps (one dose), rubella (one dose), hepatitis B series.

Additional requirement grades pre-K, K, and 1: Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine or documentation of history of varicella disease.

Grades 5, 6: (DOE code 1): Certificate of immunization (DOH 680) showing immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis polio measles (two doses, preferably MMR), mumps (one dose), rubella (one dose).

Grades 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12: (DOE code 8): Certificate of immunization (DOH 680) showing immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis AND a tetanus-diphtheria booster (within five years), polio measles (two doses, preferably MMR), mumps (one dose), rubella (one dose), hepatitis B series.

Immunization Waivers: Students enrolling, and who have previously attended school somewhere in the United States, are granted 30 days for their previous records to arrive. Schools will have them complete a 30-day waiver form. Parent/guardian signs a statement that he or she agrees that when the records from the other school arrive, if the information in the record is incomplete, he or she will get the needed immunizations for the child.

Note: Thirty-day waivers are not applicable for first time enrollees (i.e., kindergarten or prekindergarten) or Grade 7. Homeless students are the only exception to this rule. Florida law gives homeless students a 30-day grace period to comply. Physicals: A physical exam report, completed within one year prior to enrollment (not appointment or promise to go) is required before enrollment, for any student who has never attended school in Florida in the past, i.e., kindergarten and out of state transfers.

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