Vaccines are required for school enrollment and attendance in Texas. These medications protect children, families, and the community from communicable diseases, which can have potentially devastating and deadly complications.
Here’s a comprehensive review of immunization requirements for school entry.
The Vaccine Schedules
Healthcare providers believe that children should be fully vaccinated against communicable diseases to protect their health and that of the community they live in. This community protection is called herd immunity, and the rationale is this.
The greater the number of people who are protected by vaccines the less contact, development and spread of communicable diseases, such as hepatitis and tetanus, will occur. Herd immunity particularly benefits individuals who, for reasons of medical frailty or treatment plan, cannot receive their “shots.”
That said, the schedules published by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics must be followed to ensure a child is fully immunized. In general, kids receive vaccines in specific doses and at specific times from birth to six years and from seven years to 18 years.
Vaccines Boost Immunity Against Certain Diseases
Vaccines contain live, killed, or weakened forms of microorganisms that cause illnesses, such as measles, chicken pox, and more. Some shots are given only once, while others must be updated or boosted at set intervals.
Vaccine Requirements for Schools in Texas
In the State of Texas, children who attend school must receive certain vaccinations before starting the school year. Required immunizations include:
- DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis)
- MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis A
- Varicella zoster
Most shots are given in an initial series and then subsequently boosted according to the published vaccine schedule. Children who, for various reasons, are not completely current with all required shots must at least have received one dose of each and then the catch-up shots within 30 days of beginning school.
Documentation of required vaccinations must be submitted to the school every year. It must be validly signed by the child’s healthcare provider as well.
Legitimate Exemptions from Childhood Vaccines
In the state of Texas, a physician may provide the child’s school written documentation that excuses or exempts the child from receiving the required vaccinations. Two reasons for exemption are:
- Parental conscience–typically a religious reason for opting out of some or all of the required immunizations
- Medical reasons which can be either temporary (treatment for cancer) or a chronic condition (such as a neurological defect)
These written exemptions are valid for one year only and must be signed by the healthcare provider and submitted to the child’s school health office.
Vaccine Safety and Your Child
Today’s immunizations are fully tested for safety and effectiveness. That’s why most physicians deliver them with confidence that these preventive medicines really do protect young patients from serious infections and complications.
Child Vaccinations in The Woodlands and Spring, TX
At Northwoods Pediatric Center, we provide personalized and compassionate care to your children. Our board-certified pediatrician specializes in healthcare services for newborns to young adults, including vaccination and immunizations, annual wellness checkups, sick visits, treatment of a wide range of acute childhood conditions, and management of chronic childhood diseases.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with our highly trained pediatrician, please call us today at (281) 296-7770 or fill out our online appointment request form.