It’s back-to-school time, and Indiana health officials are reminding parents to make sure their children are up to date on their immunizations.
“With the new school year getting underway for many students, it’s a good time to make sure your children have all the recommended vaccines to keep them healthy throughout the year,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H.
For the 2015-2016 school year, all students entering kindergarten and first grade are required to have a record documenting two valid doses of Hepatitis A vaccine. Students entering 12th grade must have a record of two doses of the Meningococcal (meningitis) vaccine.
For a complete listing of Indiana school immunization requirements, visit the Indiana State Department of Health website at www.state.in.us/isdh/17094.htm. The requirements and recommendations are in alignment with the routine vaccination schedules from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
As a parent of two sons and a daughter, Dr. Adams also encourages parents to talk with their doctors about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which is available to both boys and girls.
Each year, HPV causes more than 26,000 new cases of cancer in both men and women.HPV is spread by skin-to-skin sexual contact. Infection with the virus can lead to cervical cancer in women and can also cause other oral and genital cancers in both men and women. All boys and girls ages 11 to 26 should receive the vaccine, which is given in three doses over six months.
For more information on HPV and the vaccine, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s HPV website at http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/default.htm.
Hoosiers can access their immunization records through MyVaxIndiana, a user-friendly website that allows parents and other individuals to connect with their immunization records from any computer through the use of a personal identification number (PIN). PINs can be obtained from healthcare providers and used to log in to the secure website, where users can then download, print or fax records. Each record also displays the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended immunization schedule. To learn more, visit www.MyVaxIndiana.in.gov.