Changes in West Virginia Vaccinations for Kids Heading back to School

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Along with making sure your kids have all of the essentials to head back to school this year, you also need to consult your child’s doctor to make sure they have all of their immunizations, but don’t be shocked if your doctor tells you there are some changes you may need to be aware of.

For the last couple of years, in West Virginia, immunizations that were once recommended are now required before your children can head into their 7th and 12th grade years. Those required shots are boosters of pertussis and meningitis and in the Mountain State, the only way to get out of those shots, temporarily, is to apply for a medical exemption through Charleston. West Virginia, Mississippi, and California are the only three states in the Country that require medical exemptions for immunizations.

A medical exemption can only be granted to those who have documented medical issues. What’s new this year is for those of you who are sending your children to state regulated daycare, “It is no longer a recommended minimum, vaccine requirement, it’s now required. So, it applies to all students going to either, K through twelve, as well as; a state supported, state sponsored, daycare program. They are now required, so those kids entering now have to be immunized,” said Howard Gamble, Director of the Ohio County Health Department.

In Ohio, Virginia, and Kentucky if you’re a parent who may not want your child to get the boosters, whether it’s for personal or religious beliefs, you can opt out of having them. The purpose of getting your child immunized, according to Gamble, is to make sure they are protected against any potentially harmful or deadly disease, as well as protecting the general public from the same.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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