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Mississippi Health Officials Require All Students to Get TDAP Shot Before Entering School

By Paul Boger | Published 09 Jul 2014 08:30am | comments
As Mississippi's children enjoy the last few weeks of summer vacation, officials with the state Department of Health are urging parents to get their kids vaccinated before the start of the new school year. Health officials say the shots prevent the spread of easily treatable diseases like Whooping Cough.
On a hot summer day in the Capitol City, kids are outside enjoying the freedom associated with summer vacation. However, with the new school year starting in just few weeks, many parents are already getting their children ready to go back now, and that means shots. Jackson resident Stacy Hansen is the mother of two boys, she says both of her children are up to date on their vaccinations.
"I would have gotten them anyway." says Hansen. "They are readily available, they're not expensive, there is no reason not to prevent these types of illnesses that would make my kids suffer. Disease is real."
Under current Mississippi law, children must be vaccinated in order to enter school, Head Start or even day care. This is also the first year ALL students are required to have a Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis vaccine called the T- DAP shot. Doctor Thomas Dobbs is the state epidemiologist.
"There's a whole schedule of shots that kids will need usually the Pertussis shot and the Measels shot, the Chicken Pox shot." says Dobbs. "There's a whole series. But also, people not getting vaccinated or maintaining their immunization status creates a susceptible pool of folks that allows for the sustained spread of these illnesses."
If kids don't receive their shots before the beginning of the school year, they will not be allowed to register for classes until their vaccinations are up to date. Sandi Beason is a spokeswoman for the Clinton Public School District.
"It's important that students get these vaccines because when you are in a school setting and you have so many children so close together if there is an outbreak of some kind it can spread quickly if kids aren't vaccinated." says Beason. "From a public health stand point it's vital that children are protected."
According to the Department of Health, parents can check with their local physicians or county health department to see which vaccines their children will need.




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