New vaccines required at middle schools in 2008 - East Valley Tribune: News

New vaccines required at middle schools in 2008

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Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 11:18 pm | Updated: 5:45 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Arizona middle school students will be required to have two new vaccines starting in 2008.

The first is for meningococcal disease.

Will Humble of the Arizona Department of Health Services said the state only has about 50 meningococcal cases each year, but the state is requiring the vaccine because the disease spreads so quickly.

"You know a kid can go to sleep on Friday night feeling kind of yucky and they might be dead on Saturday," Humble said.

The second required vaccine is T-DAP, for pertussis and tetanus. Humble said the reason the state is requiring the vaccine is because it has a whooping cough booster in it. Humble said whooping cough isn't deadly for middle school children, but a vaccine could save the lives of their younger brothers and sisters.

"We want to get them vaccinated so they don't bring it home to their little siblings, where it's lethal," Humble said.

The Arizona Department of Health Services could make a third change as early as Jan. 1, if a recommendation is approved by the secretary of state. Right now, 2-year-old's are required to get a Hepatitis A vaccine if they're going into daycare or preschool.

The change would require the Hepatitis A vaccine one year earlier.

"It's because the folks are changing their diapers, they're putting stuff in their mouths, and there's a lot of what they call fecal, oral contamination that happens,” Humble said. "It’s not because the places are dirty or because anybody's doing anything wrong."

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