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Prepare for the school year with required immunizations

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reminds parents to prepare for the upcoming school year now by getting their children’s annual physical and required immunizations.

“Immunizations are proven to be one of the most successful and cost-effective ways to prevent serious diseases,” said Gail Vasterling, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “Even though we’re still on summer vacation, we encourage parents to make their children’s immunization appointments now instead of waiting until the busy days right before school begins.”

Missouri law requires children in Kindergarten through 12th grade to receive immunizations to protect against certain vaccine-preventable diseases. This helps protect everyone including students, teachers, staff and other community members.

Children attending Kindergarten through 12th grade are required to have the following immunizations or booster shots:

  • DTaP – Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis or DT – diphtheria and tetanus
  • Tdap – Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (required for 8th – 12th grade)
  • IPV – Polio
  • Hepatitis B
  • MMR- Measles, mumps, rubella; and
  • Varicella – Chickenpox

Getting your child immunized can be easy and inexpensive. For families with health insurance, all vaccines are usually covered. Children age 18 and younger may be eligible to get vaccines free through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program if they are Medicaid eligible, do not have health insurance, underinsured or are an American Indian or Alaskan Native. Doctors can charge a fee to give each vaccine. However, VFC program funded vaccines cannot be denied to an eligible child if the family cannot afford the fee.

Contact your health care provider to ensure your child is up to date on immunizations. For more information visit or contact your local public health agency.

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