SHERPERDSVILLE, Ky. — School officials around the state are encouraging parents to begin preparing for new immunization requirements for school children.
The law takes effect with the 2018-19 school year and requires all students to receive a Hepatitis A vaccine and students 16 and older to get a meningitis booster. Officials told media that it’s imperative to start preparing now because the Hepatitis A vaccine is given in two doses that are six months apart.
Lesa Howell, the health coordinator for Bullitt County Schools, says students are required to at least have the first shot to enroll.
Other school districts are also advising parents to take action early.
“Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to begin now in scheduling immunizations for their children to avoid potential shortages that may result from the large number of children who will require these shots,” officials with Owensboro Public Schools and Daviess County Public Schools said in a joint press release.
Students should have their first shot by Feb. 1 in order to complete the two-shot Hepatitis A series by the time school starts, said Gay Lynn Lile, district nurse at Owensboro Public Schools.
Kentucky’s new immunization guidelines were adopted before the Hepatitis A outbreak began sweeping the country. About 30 patients have been reported in Kentucky, mostly in Louisville.