Changes to the immunizations standards in Kentucky might mean difficulties for kids returning to school. Starting this year, all students Kindergarten through 12th grade have to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A.
“Everyone is just getting hit hard right now with the kids trying to get all of their vaccines up to date,” Northern Kentucky Health Department Immunization Program Coordinator Sonya Moseley said.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious virus that can cause liver infection.
“The legislation passed from new requirement for the school kids, but they didn’t go into effect until this current school season,” Moseley said.
The new immunization requirement is likely due to the increase in Hepatitis A across Kentucky.
“As long as they come in with one dose, ‘cause it’s a two does series separated by six months,” Moseley said. “Then the kids can go ahead and enter school.”
In Kentucky, students will need to turn in an updated immunizations certificate in order to start school. The first shots are given at age 11 or 12. Students over the age of 16 will also be required to get another shot for Meningococcal vaccine. The state of Indiana also requires two doses of a Hepatitis A vaccine. There are no additional requirements in Ohio this year.
In most cases these shots are covered by insurance. If parents have concerns about the safety of a vaccine, they should talk to their child’s pediatrician.