THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Indiana updates vaccine requirements for students

Indiana state health officials recently announced its updated state immunization requirements for students from kindergarten through 12th grade include the addition of two chickenpox vaccines.

"We experienced multiple outbreaks of chickenpox around that state during the last school year," Indiana State Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Joan Duwve said. "This new requirement will help stop the spread of this preventable disease and keep kids healthy and in school."

The 2013-2014 school year in Indiana requires all students have documentation for two doses of varicella, the chickenpox vaccine, or documentation of having had the chickenpox disease. Students from kindergarten to fifth grade will need documentation from a health care provider to confirm a previous infection.

Duwve also recommended that children in this age range receive two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine, an annual flu vaccine and the Human papilloma virus vaccine series. Duwye further endorsed a booster dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, which helps prevent meningitis, for teens between 16 and 18 years old.

Indiana parents can access their children's vaccine records online at www.MyVaxIndiana.in.gov or obtain them from their family physician. Duwve said the online system makes information more accessible to people.

"Parents can check what immunizations their child has already received and find out what may still be needed, as well as print, fax or email an official copy of the record," Duwve said. "Vaccinations reduce the spread of disease and help to keep all of us healthy."