Children in child care centers and those entering kindergarten and seventh grade will need more immunizations starting now.
The Idaho Legislature approved four additional immunizations for children receiving care in a child care center: varicella (chicken pox); Hepatitis A; Pneumococcal (Prevnar); and Rotavirus. The immunizations were recommended in the past. As of July, they are required.
Children registering for kindergarten will need two varicella (or documentation from a health care provider that they've had chicken pox) and two Hepatitis A immunizations along with the other required vaccinations.
Children entering the seventh grade will need two additional immunizations: Tdap, a whooping cough booster that contains vaccines against tetanus and diphtheria; and one meningococcal vaccine. The immunizations were recommended in the past and will be required now.
Students heading to college are now recommended to have a meningococcal booster, if they were previously vaccinated at a younger age.
Schedules of required immunizations for children of all ages are available at www.immunizeidaho.org. Exemption forms are available for medical, religious and personal reasons.
"Vaccinations are one of the single most effective disease prevention measures in the history of public health," said Mareva Kammeyer, who coordinates PHD's immunization program.
Vaccinations are available at all Panhandle Health District offices. The PHD office in St. Maries will offer a special immunization clinic Thursday, April 28, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. It also provides immunizations on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays by appointment. The office is located at 137 N. 8th St. Call 208-245-4556 for information.
The Sandpoint PHD office provides vaccinations on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Sandpoint office is located at 1020 Michigan. Call 208-263-5159 for an appointment.
The Hayden PHD office, 8500 N. Atlas Rd., provides immunizations Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Hayden PHD will offer evening immunization clinics during the summer in preparation for the new school year. For appointments, call 208-415-5270.
Immunizations are available at the Kellogg PHD office, 114 Riverside, on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Wednesdays by appointment. Call 208-786-7474.
Bonners Ferry PHD, 7402 Caribou, provides immunizations by appointment. Call 208-267-5558.
Vaccines for Children, a federal program, provides vaccines to Idaho. Families pay only the costs for storage, equipment and nurses to give the immunization. All children up to age 19 can participate in the Vaccines for Children program.
For information on PHD's immunization program, visit www.phd1.idaho.gov