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'Vax to school': Checklist should include immunizations

Posted: 7:17 AM, Aug 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-22 08:19:31-04

The back-to-school checklist for moms and dads, of course, includes school supplies and maybe new shoes and clothes. It should also include a check on immunizations. Wisconsin law requires students are up to date with vaccinations, with some exceptions.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, students in kindergarten through fifth grade require five types of vaccines over those years including 4 doses of the polio vaccine, 2 for measles, mumps and rubella, and 4 doses of some combination of diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough vaccine.

Assuming sixth-graders and older have all those other vaccines, the only new immunization required by law should be one additional tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) dose to get students through high school.

Your pediatrician can help you with a schedule that is age appropriate.

There are exceptions to the immunization requirement. The law in Wisconsin allows parents to opt their students out of some or all of these vaccines for “personal conviction, religious, or medical/health reasons.”

Parents who choose to opt out need to sign and file a waiver form with the school. The law also states that unvaccinated students may be excluded from school in the event of an outbreak.

Schools are required to notify families whose kids are not up to date 15 days into the school year. After 30 days, schools can hold children out who are not compliant.

Not required, but considered a good idea by pediatricians, is a flu vaccine for students early in the school year.

Click here for all the information on school immunization requirements.