The Times West Virginian

July 29, 2013

Vaccine clinics set to reach students

Officials expect fewer issues in second year of new requirements

By Mary Wade Burnside
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — For the second year in a row, when seventh- and 12th-graders enter school on Aug. 19, they need to have been inoculated with the Tdap and Menactra vaccines.

The requirement caused some headaches last year, but Gary Price, superintendent of Marion County Schools, expects the process to be easier this year.

“We do anticipate things to go much smoother, simply because of the awareness of parents, doctors’ offices and of students themselves,” Price said. “They understand this is something they have to get taken care of.”

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources mandated that beginning last school year, seventh- and 12th-graders needed the vaccine to protect them against meningococcal meningitis, or Menactra, as well as the Tdap, which protects them against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, or whooping cough.

Last year, the designated students were told they would not be allowed to start school without the vaccines, but at the last minute, a reprieve was granted to allow last-minute stragglers to catch up.

Price does not believe that will happen again this year.

“Now we’ve been through it and we expect people to know what the regulations are,” he added. “I’m sure parents will be ready for the start of the year.”


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