The beginning of the new school year is here, and the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) would like to remind parents to make sure their children are up to date on immunizations! North Dakota state law requires students in grades kindergarten through 12 to meet a minimum number of required immunizations before they are allowed to attend school. If children are not up to date within 30 days of the start of the school year, they will be excluded from school. It is important to get your child vaccinated now in order to protect them and other students from preventable diseases and so they do not need to be excluded from school.
According to Lexie Barber, epidemiologist with the NDDoH, “vaccines are the best way to keep students protected and stop the spread of infectious diseases such as pertussis, mumps, and measles. Vaccines are especially important for school settings where outbreaks can occur easily and quickly. If you haven’t done so already, check with your healthcare provider to find out which vaccines your child needs. Once your child is up to date on vaccinations, please be sure to submit their immunization record to your school.”
Before entering school in North Dakota, children must have:
- five doses of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis)
- four doses of IPV (polio)
- three doses of HBV (hepatitis B)
- two doses of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
- two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
In addition, students entering 7th grade will need:
- one dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis)
- one dose of MCV4 (meningococcal disease)
The cost of immunizations should not be a concern. If your child is uninsured or your insurance does not cover vaccines, children can receive vaccine at no cost through the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC). Speak to your health care provider or local public health unit if you believe your child would be eligible for VFC vaccines.
For more information on school immunization requirements, contact Lexie Barber, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.2335, or visit our website at www.ndhealth.gov/immunize.