Indiana schools to require chickenpox vaccines next year

Indiana's Department of Health published its school immunization requirements on Wednesday for the 2013-2014 school year for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The publication comes with several new requirements, including two valid doses of varicella vaccine or a documented history of having chickenpox disease. The varicella vaccine completely protects approximately eight to nine out of every 10 people vaccinated. It also prevents severe cases of the disease.

Students in elementary skill must have their chickenpox disease history documented by a healthcare provider.

The Indiana Department of Health also recommends that students receive two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine in kindergarten and a booster dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine in 11th and 12th grade.

To check on a child's immunization status, Indiana residents can use MyVaxIndiana, a user-friendly website that allows parents and other individuals to connect with immunization records using a personal identification number. Individuals can obtain PINs from healthcare providers to log into the secure website. The records also display the recommended immunization schedule from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The recommendations and requirements made by the Indiana Department of Health align with the routine vaccination schedules released by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.