All public and private high school students are required to get two doses of the chickenpox vaccine before they can enter school.
People may consider chickenpox a routine and mild childhood illness; however, it is a very contagious disease that spreads quickly and causes an itchy rash, fever, and sometimes serious illness. People infected with chickenpox are at risk for developing shingles, a painful skin rash, later in life. Chickenpox is transmitted through the air by coughing and sneezing or by touching chickenpox blisters.
Students are not required to be vaccinated if they already had two doses of the vaccine, have had chickenpox in the past, or have had a blood test showing they are immune. Parents can make sure all their students are ready to enter school by making appointments with their healthcare provider now. If a student needs two doses of the chickenpox vaccine, they need to wait one month between each dose.
Information and frequently asked questions about the new chickenpox vaccine requirements are available on Department of Health’s website. Parents can also learn more about all vaccine requirements for the 2018-2019 school year.
Parents can receive no-cost vaccines for all kids up to 19-years-old through health care providers participating in the state’s Childhood Vaccine Program. Participating providers may charge for the office visit and an administration fee to give the vaccine. People who can’t afford the administration fee can ask for it to be waived. For help finding a health care provider or an immunization clinic, call your local health agency or the WithinReach Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.