Immunizations vital for school enrollments

Published 9:46 am Thursday, July 16, 2015

With school starting up next month, now is the time to make sure children have the vaccinations necessary to register for the next school year.

Mississippi state law requires children to be immunized against childhood diseases to enter kindergarten and seventh grade, said Dru Holdiness, school nurse at Beechwood Elementary School and Warren Central High School.

“Vaccinations are designed to help the child who is receiving the vaccine, and it helps to protect everyone they’re coming into contact with,” she said. “Schools are highly populated and vaccines help prevent the spread of preventable childhood illnesses.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 95 percent of parents nationwide choose to vaccinate their children, protecting them against potentially deadly diseases.

Holdiness said required vaccinations for children entering school in Mississippi for the first time include diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP); polio (IPV); hepatitis B; measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); and varicella (chickenpox). There is also a requirement for children entering seventh grade to receive the TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccination. Parents must provide the school with a Certificate of Immunization Compliance (Form 121) from their local health department or physician prior to school entry.

Parents should check with the health department or their child’s physician to find out which vaccinations they need, Holdiness said.

Those 18 and under who are eligible for the Vaccines for Children program can receive vaccinations for $10 each. The MSDH accepts Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP and the State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan (AHS).

Vicksburg Junior High School records clerk Jennifer Stewart said parents of incoming seventh graders often forget about the immunization requirements.

“They are allowed to register without it, but it is required,” she said. “The student still will be enrolled, but we will consistently contact the parent until they take the student to get it.”

Stewart said she encourages parents to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible, adding parents should look into getting their children vaccinated at the end of the school year prior to when they are required to have them.

“It needs to be here before the student gets here,” she said of the 121 form.

For more information on immunizations along with an immunization schedule, visit