Immunization changes take effect next school year

Published 11:20 am Thursday, December 7, 2017

Effective July 1, all students must be in compliance

According to information released by the Kentucky Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 2018, the state has passed a new law which will require new immunizations for students to attend public school.

These immunizations can be obtained at the Jessamine County school-based health clinic, the local health department or from a personal physician. All documentation for the immunizations are required to be on a new immunization form. 

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New immunization forms should be submitted to the Jessamine County School Health Services office at 851 Wilmore Road and any updated forms should be provided to the health services office as well.

All students in kindergarten through 12th grade must show proof of having received two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine to attend school. In addition, all students who are age 16 or older must show proof of having received two doses of the Meningococcal ACWY vaccine (MenACWY). If the first dose of MenACWY was received at 16, the second dose is not required for school entry.

“We know that these changes are going to affect almost every single one of our students, and it’s very important that families take action now in order to meet the new requirements before school begins next year,” Superintendent Matt Moore said. “This is a great opportunity for families to take advantage of the district’s four school-based health clinics, where immunizations are one of several services offered to students district wide.”

Religious exemptions should be documented on a signed and notarized copy of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Parent or Guardian’s Declination on Religious Grounds to Required Immunizations form. Homeschooled students are required to have a current immunization certificate on file with their school prior to participating in any public or private school activities.

“Following recent Hepatitis A outbreaks in our state, and the increased number of Meningococcal cases in older teens, the Kentucky Department of Public Health believes that these additional immunizations are needed to protect students to the fullest extent possible,” Moore said.

Patrice Jones, director of school, community, and public relations with the Jessamine County School District, said that the additional immunizations are required by state law and will affect students state-wide, so families should expect health care provider office’s to be particularly busy.

“This larger-than-normal volume will likely result in a longer delay to obtain an appointment,” Jones said. “Making it beneficial to start the process as early as possible. The Kentucky Department of Public Health has advised that insurance providers are aware of the changes and have agreed to begin paying for the additional immunizations immediately. Therefore, there is not a waiting period for coverage.”

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