Back-to-School Checklist: Don’t Forget Immunizations

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School days will be upon us before we know it, and now’s the time to schedule your child’s immunizations as required by the school district. We’ve compiled a how-to, including new guidelines for 7-12th graders. 

Backpack? Check. School supplies? Check. New fall jacket? Check.

Did you remember to put immunizations on that back-to-school list? All students entering the Washoe County School District in August must comply with Nevada State Law requiring vaccinations.

Immunizations in Nevada

Nevada State Law requires that students be immunized for diptheria, tetanus and pertussis; measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); varicella, unless they have had the chickenpox; hepatitis A and hepatitis B; and polio for school admittance.

This includes students enrolling for the first time in a Nevada public school — children entering preschool, kindergarten or transferring from a private school.

RELATED: Dorm Safety: What You Need to Know About Bacterial Meningitis

Students entering seventh grade in the Washoe County School District are required to show proof of Tdap immunization, which provides extra protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

And starting July 1, 2017, Nevada will require the meningococcal vaccine in addition to the Tdap vaccine for all 7th graders and new students entering grades 7-12.

What documentation do I need?

When you enroll your child in school you must present an immunization record stamped or signed by your child’s doctor or healthcare provider. Copies of records are acceptable. First-time students in the school district will not be admitted without proof of immunizations. For students already enrolled in a WCSD school, a grace period of 10 school days is provided.

Are schools the only organizations requiring immunization records?

You’ll need your children’s immunization records to register your children not only for school, but for child care, athletic teams, summer camps and travel. If your child plays sports, don’t forget they need a pre-participation physical evaluation. Sports physicals must be completed during an athlete’s first and third year of participation.

Are there exemptions for immunizations?

WCSD offers exemptions for families who wish to opt out of immunizations for religious and/or medical reasons. For a religious exemption, a parent or guardian must submit a written statement to the WCSD Board of Trustees, as well as the child’s school nurse or clinical aid indicating that immunizing the student is contrary to their religious beliefs. For a medical exemption, a written statement or prescription from the child’s physician must be submitted to the board of trustees and the school nurse or clinical aid. 

If you have any questions about vaccination requirements or to find out if your child’s vaccinations are up to date, check with your child’s pediatrician and/or school before classes begin.

Learn more about immunization services and clinics at Renown.org, or request an appointment onlineImmunize Nevada also provides a list of local vaccination clinics and providers.

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