ND Dept. of Health reminds parents to make sure students have immunizations

Student carrying backpack near school bus
Student carrying backpack near school bus(Credit: John-Michael Pointe / Bullet Blocker)
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 11:46 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The North Dakota Department Health and Human Services is reminding parents to make sure their students are ready with their 2023-24 school year immunizations.

They say many pediatric and family practice clinics throughout the state are already booking wellness and physical activity appointments into the next few months. Even though school is coming to an end for this semester, making an appointment now ensures your student is ready for the fall semester.

They say North Dakota school immunization rates have been dropping in recent years. Officials say this is because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it can also be linked to an increase in non-medical exemptions and non-compliance. The North Dakota Department Health and Human Services says low immunization rates could lead to vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks in schools, unnecessary illnesses and missed days of learning.

Health officials say to talk to your primary care provider or local public health unit to see if your child is up to date on the recommended immunizations.

For school-required vaccines, officials say most students will need the following by school entry:

  • Kindergarten (4-6 years old)
    • Hepatitis B: three doses
    • Polio: four doses
    • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis): five doses
    • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella): two doses
    • Varicella (chickenpox): two doses
  • 7th Grade (11-12 years old)
    • Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis): one dose
    • Meningococcal Conjugate (MCV4, MenACWY): one dose
  • 11th Grade (16 years old)
    • Meningococcal Conjugate (MCV4, MenACWY): second dose