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New Hepatitis A Vaccine Requirement

To make sure your child is compliant and ready to start school in August, here is a reminder of the new 2018-2019 Hepatitis A immunization requirement.

1.  What is Hepatitis A and why is it required?
Hepatitis A is a serious and potentially life-threatening infectious disease of the liver caused by the Hepatitis A virus.  It is a vaccine-preventable disease and now a state requirement.

2. What health form does my child need for the 2018-2019 school year? 
All students will need a NEW and current immunization certificate listing all required shots for the school attendance.  Previous immunization forms did not address Hepatitis A for school attendance therefore, they can no longer be used for school attendance.   These new forms were released in the summer of 2017.  Your physician’s office may print out the immunization certificate electronically which is fine for school attendance as long as it addresses the Hepatitis A (for ALL students K-8).

3.  What new shots does my child need to attend school? 
For students kindergarten – 8th grade – they will need 2 doses of Hepatitis A.  It is possible that your child has already had these shots.  Please check with your primary doctor to see.  You will still need this documented on the NEW immunization certificate showing proof of these 2 shots given 6 months apart or longer.

4.  What happens if I cannot get two doses of Hepatitis A for my child before the start of school in August 2018? 
The Kentucky Immunization program states that children need to complete the hepatitis A immunizations prior to the start of 2018-2019 school year.  Which is why we highly encourage the first shot to be given by the end of January.  This will allow the second dose to be given by the end of July.  However, as long as there is documentation of one Hepatitis A shot on the NEW immunization form and an expiration date of 6 months later from the first dose of Hepatitis A your child may attend school.  Once that certificate expires then your child is not allowed to attend school until an updated certificate with the 2nd dose of Hepatitis A is provided.

5.  Our religion does not permit us to vaccinate against some or all vaccines that are available.  What do I need to provide for school enrollment and/or attendance? 
You will need to provide a NEW religious exemption form.  All the older forms that have been submitted in years past will no longer be accepted.

6.  What other suggestions do you have for parents? 
Keep copies of all certificates and extra copies of the most current certificate in case one gets misplaced with all these new forms.  Don’t delay, schedule your child’s appointment today.