Immunization 002

McKenzie Medical Providers would like to inform parents of school aged children that new requirements by the Tennessee Department of Health have been issued for the 2010 school year. These new requirements include: All children enrolling in kindergarten must now have two doses of the Varicella (Chicken Pox) Vaccine, as well as at least one dose of the Hepatitis A vaccine. The second dose of the Hepatitis A vaccine has to be given by July 1, 2011.

Additionally, children who are entering the 7th grade now have to receive TDaP, which is the Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis booster and require proof of immunity to Varicella by either documentation of the disease by a health care provider, a blood test to prove immunity, or two doses of the vaccine.

Alex Bridgeman, a nurse practitioner at McKenzie Medical Center who focuses on the care of children commented: “It is important to not just receive vaccines required for school, but to be aware of new vaccine recommendations by the Center of Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics to protect your family from illness.”

One of the new recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is for adolescents – the meningococcal vaccine (Menactra). This vaccine is offered to children aged 11 and older to prevent meningitis. It is required for admission to most colleges and universities. Other recommended vaccines include Gardisil, which is for the prevention of cervical cancer and genital warts in boys and girls ages nine and older. As well as, Cervarix which may be given to girls aged nine and up for the prevention of cervical cancer. Parents should consult their health care provider or health department regarding required and recommended vaccines for their children.

Holly Arnold, a 2008 (May) graduate from Bethel’s Physician Assistant program and another one of McKenzie Medical Center’s main pediatric practitioners concluded: “One of the first steps in protecting children from serious and life-threatening diseases is immunization. When children receive their immunizations, they gain protection against some potentially fatal diseases. When children do not receive immunizations, they run the risk of developing these illnesses and put everyone around them at risk for developing the disease. Why put children at risk for diseases which are preventable through vaccination?”

These vaccines are available at McKenzie Medical Center (205 Hospital Drive, McKenzie) and its satellite clinics – the Bruceton Clinic (123 Maple Street, Bruceton) and the Dresden Specialty Clinic (136 South Wilson Street, Dresden), as well as your local health departments. For more information you may call McKenzie Medical Center 731-352-7907 or toll free: 1-800-273-2510


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