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Health Dept. alters immunization rules

As the school year comes to a close, local public health nurses are reminding parents of immunization changes for next school year.

The State Department of Health has announced some changes in the immunization requirements for students to attend school in the fall, according to a statement from the department.

Two doses of the chickenpox vaccine or evidence of immunity are required for students in kindergarten through grade 12. Sixth-grade students will also be required to receive one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4).

The department also recommends one booster dose of MCV4 for students in grades 11 and 12 as well as two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine for incoming kindergartners. These are currently recommendations, but are likely to become requirements for the 2014-2015 school year, according to a statement.

The requirements and recommendations are in line with the routine vaccination schedules from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Parents needing to get their children these vaccinations should ask their doctor or visit the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health or a Super Shot location.

The Department of Health’s Immunization Clinic is at 4813 New Haven Ave. The clinic’s hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. An appointment can be made by calling 449-7514. Children younger than age 18 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children eligible under the Vaccines for Children program may qualify for free vaccine. For all others, there is a $9 administration fee per vaccine in addition to the cost of the vaccine.