A new school year is already here and children’s shots need to be updated and you must show proof of immunizations. If documentation is not provided by October 1, student will be sent home and not allowed to return until documentation is provided. Immunization requirements under Arkansas law are:
Kindergarten and Grade 1: one Hepatitis A shot after first birthday.
Kindergarten through Grade 12: three polio shots, one shot given after fourth birthday. Two varicella (chickenpox) shots, first dose after first birthday. This may not be required if doctor (not parent) verifies the child had chickenpox. Two MMR shots, one dose after first birthday, three doses of Hepatitis B and four doses of either DTaP, DTP or DT-pediatric, one dose after fourth birthday.
Grades 1 through 12: three or four doses of either DTaP, DTP, DT-pediatric, Td-adult or Tdap, one Tdap required for children age 11 (on or before Sept. 1) or older for each year.
Grade 7: one dose of meningococcal (MCV4).
Age 16: one dose of meningococcal by age 16 (on or before Sept. 1), regardless of grade. If dose given before age 16, a second dose required at least 8 weeks later.
Pre-kindergarten, daycare or childcare: Children must meet the requirements for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, DTaP, MMR, polio, type B flu, pneumococcal and varicella, depending on age.
Children starting kindergarten this fall or a new public school will need, updated shot record or approved exemption. Get shot record from your doctor or the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), a copy of birth certificate, to obtain one, contact the ADH Vital Records office at 800-637-9314. Also, a Social Security card, to get one, call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213, health history completed by parent/guardian supplied by school and a physical exam by a health care professional.
If the child doesn’t have health insurance or the insurance doesn’t pay for shots, the local ADH office will immunize the child for free or a $5 record fee may be charged. If child is not enrolled in the free ARKids First health insurance program, call 888-474-8275 to enroll.
A parent or guardian who chooses not to have a child immunized may apply for an exemption. Proof of exemption from the ADH is required every year before school starts. Doctors can no longer approve exemptions, only the ADH.
For more information contact the ADH’s Immunization Section at 501-537-3969 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org