2014: Immunization a must before entering school

Arizona state law requires that students must have proof of all required immunizations, or a valid exception, before attending school. Parents or guardians of the child must submit documentary proof of required immunizations to the school's administrator.

In a recent article in the journal Pediatrics, the Center of Disease Control called vaccines one of the greatest public health developments of the last century for their role in eradicating smallpox and controlling polio, measles, rubella and other infections diseases in the United States. Medical experts estimate that vaccines prevent more than 40,000 premature childhood deaths and 20 million illnesses every year.

Children can obtain the required vaccinations at their own doctors' offices or through the Yavapai County Health Services Department. Call Yavapai County Health Services in Cottonwood at (928) 639-8132 for more information on back-to-school vaccination requirements.

The state's 2014-2015 requirements for kindergarten through 12th grade are posted in English and in Spanish at: http://www.azdhs.gov/phs/immunization/school-childcare/requirements.htm. Childcare and preschool immunization requirements are also posted at http://azdhs.gov/phs/immunization/school-childcare/requirements.htm.

For copies of immunization records, call (877) 491-5741.

Students 11 years of age and older in sixth through ninth grades are also required to have a (Tdap) Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis and (MV) Meningococcal Vaccine.

It is recommended that you contact your insurance provider for all immunization benefit information. The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program offered by the Federal Government is a program for uninsured children and those who's insurance does not cover the cost of all vaccines. The VFC program will cover the cost of the vaccines. An administration fee to cover health department costs is $20 per child per visit. No additional costs are involved. The administration fee can be waived if you are unable to pay.

Immunizations are available throughout the year, by appointment only. Please call (928) 639-8130 to make an appointment or for additional information regarding program and services.

For more information, call the Arizona Immunization Program Office at (602) 364-3630, or check the Center of Disease Control's web site at http://www.cdc.gov, or visit http://www.whyimmunize.org.

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