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Does Child Have Shots? Chickenpox is Added

August 8, 2006

By The Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio

Aug. 8–Backpack? Check. Glue stick? Check. Pencils? Check.

But what about vaccinations?

It’s almost back-to-school time — time for parents to make sure their children’s vaccinations are up-to-date.

And this year, for the first time, that means that all Ohio children entering kindergarten must be vaccinated against chickenpox.

The law requires either proof of chickenpox (varicella) vaccination or documentation that the child has had a case of chickenpox, which would provide immunity. (The Ohio Department of Health said that parents can opt out of the vaccine for religious reasons or “reasons of conscience,” as well as if children have complicating health factors, such as a weakened immune system.)

By the age of 5 or 6, children should have completed their vaccinations: five doses of DTP or DTaP (diphtheria/tetanus/acellular pertussis); four doses of the polio vaccine; two doses of MMR; four doses of Hib (Haemophilus influenzae, type B); three doses of Hep B (hepatitis B); one dose of the chickenpox vaccine; and four doses of PCV (pneumoccocal conjugate vaccine).

Also, a tetanus/diphtheria booster is recommended for those entering seventh grade (11- to 12-year-olds).

Children whose vaccinations aren’t up-to-date could find themselves turned away on the first day of school.

Health departments throughout the area have childhood immunization programs offering low-cost vaccinations.

–The Akron Health Department (330-375-2361) offers immunization clinics at the Morley Health Center, 177 S. Broadway, Akron, from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. On the first Wednesday of each month, immunizations are also available at the Mobile Health Van, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., at the Odom Library, 600 Vernon Odom Blvd.

–The Barberton Health District immunization clinic (330-745-6869) holds walk-in clinics from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Thursday. Appointments for children under 2 are available from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays.

–The Summit County Health Department (330-926-5713) offers immunizations at three sites: at the health department, 1100 Graham Road Circle, Cuyahoga Falls, from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays; 8 to 11 a.m. Thursdays and 1 to 3 p.m. Fridays at the South Clinic, 2600 Sanitarium Road, Springfield Township, from 1 to 6 p.m. Thursdays; and at the North Clinic, Pavilion Building, 9735 Valley View Road, Macedonia, 8:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays.

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Copyright (c) 2006, The Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.

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