Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Second Chickenpox Vaccine Now Required ; Other State-Required Shots Remain the Same

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Second Chickenpox Vaccine Now Required ; Other State-Required Shots Remain the Same

Article excerpt

For the first time, children entering third through fifth grade this year must show proof of a second Varicella, or chickenpox, vaccination. "Chickenpox is well on its way to being eradicated in the U.S.," said Denise Cory, registered nurse and director of communicable disease control for the Vanderburgh County Health Department.

All children in grades kindergarten through 12 must show proof of two doses of the Varicella vaccine on or after their first birthday.

Otherwise, state-required vaccines remain the same.

Before the Varicella vaccine was developed in the mid-1990s, acquiring the disease was a rite of passage for children, with some parents even throwing "pox parties" to intentionally infect their children.

Since the vaccine was introduced, Cory said, the number of children getting the disease, as well as those suffering serious consequences or even death from chickenpox, has dropped drastically.

"The state experienced a large number of children getting pox last year that resulted in them losing a lot of school days due to illness," she said, pointing out that after children are infected they must be out of school for at least one week or until the scabs are crusted over. "They missed a lot of instruction time. With this vaccine, the state has decided to close the loophole so all children must show proof of the vaccine."

The lengthy list of vaccines required by law is designed to protect children from diseases that are transmitted from person to person and within a classroom. The state determined the best way to keep children healthy was to be vaccinated, Cory said.

There are two different types of waivers built into the Indiana law for those whose religious beliefs prevent them from being vaccinated, or for children who have a particular disease which prevents them from being vaccinated. …

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