State health officials release updated vaccine requirements for students
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has announced updated immunization requirements for kids in childcare and school.
These immunization updates go into effect this school year and a child can be denied entry to school programs if they do not receive the necessary shots.
There are no new vaccines on this year’s list, but what does change is the age to receive the vaccines. Meaning, the state has shifted its expectations for when students should be fully vaccinated against certain illnesses.
This year’s list specifies changes for Tdap, which is a vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. It also lists updated ages for doses of vaccines for chicken pox, polio, and hepatitis.
“Really, parents shouldn’t be too worried,” MUSC Associate Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Stephen Thacker said. “What’s really changed with these updated guidelines is just a shifting of when the state expects when students should have been fully vaccinated for those targets. They were already part of the requirements before,”
He is also stressing the importance of staying on top of routine vaccines and maintaining the overall health of the child.
“We had a period of time where a lot of children perhaps didn’t get to their primary care doctor, whether it be their pediatrician or their family medicine doctor, and so they missed the opportunity to get some of those routine childhood vaccinations,” Thacker said. “And what we saw was, we saw some resurgences of some of these vaccine-preventable diseases while we were in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially as we came out of it.”
Now is a great time for parents to check their children’s immunization cards to find out what they might need. Find the detailed list of immunizations at https://scdhec.gov/health/vaccinations/childcare-school-vaccine-requirements.
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