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Your Guide to Back-to-School Vaccinations in Arizona, North Carolina, and Texas

School Vaccines

Back to school time is just around the corner. In the hustle and bustle of collecting all of the necessary school supplies and finding the right back-to-school wardrobe, it can be easy to overlook the importance of making sure that your child has all of the mandatory vaccinations for school. FastMed wants to help you understand which vaccines are required for school where you live, and the steps that you can take to make sure that your child has the shots needed for school.

Why Are Vaccines Required for School?

Because of vaccines, many diseases that used to claim hundreds or even thousands of lives each year have become rare or, as in the case of smallpox, eliminated completely. Unfortunately, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases can still happen. For example, 2014 saw the largest outbreak of measles since it was considered eliminated in 2000. The majority of those contracting the disease had not received the vaccine.

What Are the Dangers of Not Getting the Vaccines Required for School?

Ensuring that your child has all of the shots needed for school can help protect them from 16 serious and potentially deadly diseases. Even if your child still gets the disease, which is possible since no vaccine is 100 percent effective, the illness is likely to be much less severe than if your child was unvaccinated. Making sure that your family is fully vaccinated can also protect the health of those in the community who are vulnerable to infection and who may be unable to get a vaccine because of a weakened immune system.

Required School Immunizations in
North Carolina

North Carolina requires all children entering school to be vaccinated. The basic requirements are as follows:

Kindergarten-Aged Children

  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis: 5 doses
  • Polio: 4 doses
  • Measles: 2 doses
  • Mumps: 2 doses
  • Rubella: 1 dose
  • Haemophilus Influenzae Type B: 4 doses
  • Hepatitis B: 3 doses
  • Varicella: 2 doses
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate: 4 doses

Seventh Grade-Age Children

  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis: 5 doses
  • Polio: 4 doses
  • Measles: 2 doses
  • Mumps: 2 doses
  • Rubella: 1 dose
  • Haemophilus Influenzae Type B: 4 doses
  • Hepatitis B: 3 doses
  • Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis: 1 dose
  • Meningococcal Conjugate: 1 dose

Required School Immunizations in Texas

Children attending public or private elementary or secondary schools in Texas must meet the following vaccination requirements:

  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Kindergarten–sixth grade: 4 or 5 doses
  • Seventh grade: 3 doses of primary series along with 1 booster within the past five years
  • Eighth–12th grade: 3 doses of primary series along with 1 booster within the past 10 years
  • Polio: 3 or 4 doses
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella: 2 doses
  • Hepatitis B: 3 doses
  • Varicella: 2 doses
  • Meningococcal: 1 dose at or after age 11
  • Hepatitis A: 2 doses for children in kindergarten through ninth grade

Required School Immunizations in Arizona

Children must have proof of the following immunizations to attend school in Arizona:

Under Age 7

  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis: 4 to 6 doses
  • Polio: 3 to 4 doses
  • Mumps-Measles-Rubella: 2 to 3 doses
  • Hepatitis B: 3 to 4 doses
  • Varicella: one to 2 doses

Ages 7 to 10

  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis: 3 to 4 doses
  • Polio: 3 to 4 doses
  • Mumps-Measles-Rubella: 2 to 3 doses
  • Hepatitis B: 3 to 4 doses
  • Varicella: 1 to 2 doses

Age 11 and Older

  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis: 1 or more doses may be required
  • Meningococcal: 1 dose
  • Polio: 3 to 4 doses
  • Mumps-Measles-Rubella: 2 to 3 doses
  • Hepatitis B: 3 to 4 doses
  • Varicella: 1 to 2 doses

Children who enrolled in an Arizona school prior to September 1, 2011 may not have to receive the varicella vaccine if they had chickenpox.

Exemptions from Mandatory Vaccines for School

North Carolina, Texas, and Arizona do allow exemptions to the vaccination requirement on the basis of religious or certain personal beliefs, or when vaccinations would be injurious to the child or a household member. However, an exemption statement must be signed by a physician.

What If My Child Is Behind on Immunizations or I Can’t Figure Out What Vaccines Are Required for School?

A FastMed provider can help you determine which vaccinations your child needs for school based on their age and previous vaccination history. If your child lacks any of the required immunizations, the doctor will recommend an appropriate make-up schedule.

Where Can My Child Get the Vaccines Required for School?

You typically can get the mandatory vaccinations for school at any health department or primary care doctor’s office, but at FastMed, we make it easy to get your child ready for school by offering a vaccine review with our school and sports physicals with no appointment needed. If FastMed doesn’t offer the vaccines your child needs, we can refer you to a neighboring medical center that does. It is a good idea to do this several weeks before school starts to avoid the last-minute rush.

Call today for more information, or stop by one of FastMed’s more than 100 locations throughout Arizona, Texas, or North Carolina.

About FastMed

FastMed Urgent Care owns and operates more than 100 locations across Arizona, North Carolina and Texas, providing a broad range of acute/episodic and preventive healthcare services 365 days per year. FastMed also provides workers’ compensation services at all of its clinics, and family and sports medicine services at select locations. FastMed has successfully treated more than 5.8 million patients since the opening of its first clinic in 2005, and is the largest urgent care operator to be awarded the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval® for accreditation in healthcare quality and safety in ambulatory healthcare. For more information about locations, services, hours of operation, insurance and prices, visit www.FastMed.com.

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