Even though the school year has just recently ended, it is actually not too early to begin to think about the next school year, especially when it comes to required immunizations.

That is because the state has made some changes to the immunization requirements. Those changes could result in heavier than normal traffic in clinics as the 2009-2010 school year draws closer.

To avoid the crowds, Mission CISD (Consolidated Independent School District) is encouraging parents to check with their physicians regarding immunizations as early as possible.

The following are new immunization requirements for the 2009-10 school year.

• Hepatitis A: 2 doses in a lifetime, 2 doses required for pre-kinder & kindergarten entry.

• Tdap: a booster dose requirement for 7th grade entry.

• MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella): 2 doses required for pre-kinder & kindergarten entry.

• Meningococcal: 1 dose for 7th grade requirement.

• Varicella (Chickenpox): 2 doses requirement for pre-kinder, kindergarten and 7th grade entry.

All children must have all the necessary protection against the following diseases before the child can attend school: diphtheria, polio, measles, rubella, mumps, Hib, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, varicella, Tdap, and meningococcal. In addition, it is highly recommended that each student be vaccinated yearly for the prevention of Influenza. Please contact your family physician/clinic to make sure immunizations are up to date.

Texas Education Code requires each student to be fully immunized against disease as required by the Texas Board of Health. According to the education code, a student who is not fully immunized and has not begun the required immunizations may not attend school. When transferring from another school district in Texas, a student may be provisionally admitted for no more than 30 days pending receipt of immunization records.

Mission CISD strongly urges all parents to make sure immunizations are up to date prior to registration. The student’s immunizations records must be available at the time of registration to avoid any delays in admitting their children.

Sources for immunizations in the Mission CISD area include: Nuestra Clinica Del Valle Memorial Health Center in Alton, 519-1800; Nuestra Clinica Del Valle in Mission, 580-3303; Nuestra Clinica Del Valle in Alton, 581-7585; Hidalgo County Health Department in Mission, 585-2461; Southwest Lab in Edinburg, 971-8822; Healthy Shots in McAllen, 668-8366; or your family physician/clinic.