Immunizations: What parents need to know

August 23, 2011

By Staff

State law requires a variety of immunizations for students prior to them entering school and while they are in the school system.

In Issaquah, students may register for class, but may not attend school until all immunization requirements are met.

Students must be immunized against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, poliomyelitis, varicella (chickenpox) measles, rubella, mumps and hepatitis B.

Immunization schedule

  • Hepatitis B: Must have had three shots on or after 6 months of age. The series may not be completed in less than four months.
  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis: Kindergarten requirement is four shots by age 4; first- though fifth-grade and eighth- through 12th-grade requirements are three shots after age 4.
  • Diphtheria and tetanus: Sixth- and seventh-grade requirements are students need to get another immunization at age 11 or when it has been five years since their last one.
  • Polio: Students must have had at least three doses if the last shot was given after age 4. However, four doses are acceptable for students who had their last dose before age 4.
  • Measles, mumps and rubella: Two shots, with the first having been on or after age 1 and the second at least one month after the first.
  • Varicella (chickenpox): Your child must be at least 1 to get his or her first shot. The second shot is given between ages 4 and 6. This vaccine is required for all students entering sixth grade.
  • A seasonal flu vaccine is recommended for all children 6 months through 18 years.
  • Vaccinating children against the H1N1 (swine flu) virus is recommended.
  • Prior to entering school each year, parents or guardians must present a completed certificate of immunization status form.

Information requirements

Your child’s immunization status form must indicate one of the following:

  • Full immunization has been completed.
  • Your child is exempt from all vaccine immunizations.
  • Your child has a combination of required immunizations and exemptions.
  • Parents can obtain a certificate of exemption signed by a health care provider. The certificate states that the parent is aware of benefits and risks concerning immunizations. A signed letter from a health care provider can be used in lieu of the certificate. The law allows parents to claim a religious exemption without the signature of a health care provider if they demonstrate membership to a religious body that does not believe in medical treatment.
  • Your child has a conditional status that he or she has begun having or is continuing a schedule of immunizations.
  • The health agency or doctor you are receiving the immunizations from will indicate this on the card for you.
  • Exemptions from one or more vaccines can be granted for religious or personal reasons, upon written request from a child’s parent or guardian. Exemptions may also be granted for medical reasons, at the request of and with the signature of a physician.
  • However, if an outbreak occurs at school, your child may be excluded from school by order of the health department during the outbreak if it is a disease he or she has not been immunized against.

Getting immunizations

Public clinics

  • Public Health — Seattle & King County: You must call 206-205-1681 to schedule an appointment at any of the county’s four clinics: Downtown Seattle, Renton, Columbia City or Federal Way. The Renton clinic is at 3001 N.E. Fourth St.
  • HealthPoint, 16315 N.E. 87th St. Suite B-6, Redmond: You must call 882-1697 to schedule an appointment.
  • HealthPoint, 200 S. Second St., Renton: You must call 226-5536 for an appointment.
  • The cost of immunization visits is typically $20. In addition, there may be a service charge of $15 for each dose. For those with a limited income, office visits and service charges may be reduced. No one will be turned away for inability to pay.
  • Schedule an appointment with your family physician or child’s pediatrician.

Other medical needs

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