New vaccines required for school-age children

Two new vaccines are required for school-age children for the 2019-20 school year — Meningococcal and Hepatitis A.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) proposed changes to the vaccine requirement regulations earlier this year and held a public hearing concluding a 60-day public comment period in June. KDHE approved these regulations, effective Aug. 2.

To find out if your child needs to receive a vaccine or to make an appointment, you can contact Nemaha County Community Health Services at 785-284-2152 or stop by the office at 1004 Main Street in Sabetha.

“Nemaha County Community Health Services is committed to public health, including providing immunizations,” said NCCHS administrator Jane Sunderland. “Both Meningitis and Hepatitis A illnesses are severe and preventable. Our staff nurses want to assist students in becoming up-to-date on their required school immunizations and also help them have a healthy and safe school year.”

Changes for 2019-20 school year

Hepatitis A Vaccine

• Two doses required for students entering kindergarten and first grade for the 2019-20 school year

The Hepatitis A vaccine protects against the hepatitis A virus. The virus is spread primarily from person to person through the fecal-oral route. The virus is taken in by mouth from contact with objects, food or drinks contaminated by feces of an infected person. Symptoms can include fever, tiredness, poor appetite, vomiting, stomach pain and sometimes jaundice. An infected person may have no symptoms, may have mild illness for a week or two, may have severe illness for several months, or may rarely develop liver failure and die from the infection. In the U.S., about 100 people a year die from hepatitis A.

Meningococcal ACWY Vaccine

• One dose required for students entering seventh grade for the 2019-20 school year

• One dose required for students entering 11th grade for the 2019-20 school year who were not vaccinated prior to their 16th birthday

• Two doses required for students entering 11th grade for the 2019-20 school year who received their first dose prior to their 16th birthday

The meningococcal ACWY vaccine protects against meningococcal disease. The disease has two common outcomes — meningitis, which is the infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, and bloodstream infections. The bacteria that cause meningococcal disease spread through the exchange of nose and throat droplets, such as when coughing, sneezing or kissing. Symptoms include onset of fever, headache and stiff neck. With bloodstream infection, symptoms also include a dark purple rash. About one of every 10 people who gets the disease dies from it. Survivors of meningococcal disease may lose arms or legs, become deaf, have problems with their nervous systems, become developmentally disabled or suffer seizures and strokes.

You may also visit http://www.kdheks.gov/immunize/schoolinfo.htm for vaccination requirements for schools.

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