Montana School Children Face New Immunization Rules This Year
School may be out for summer vacation, but parents of school-age children need to know that Montana’s immunization rules have changed.
"Starting October 1, 2015, school-aged children will be required to have the varicella or chicken pox series and older students, basically starting in middle school, will be required to have the Pertussis shot, which is commonly called TDAP," said Montana DPHHS Communicable Disease Epidemiologist Jim Murphy
Murphy says Montana is a late adopter when it comes to immunization rules.
"We are very excited because, for the first time in quite some time, we have updated school immunization requirements," Murphy said. "We are actually catching up to the rest of the nation in some respects. We were the last state in the U.S. to make varicella a requirement and we were just one of five that did not require the TDAP for pertussis."
Although these rules are new, Murphy says about half of Montana students already have these vaccinations, and that the problem for most will be getting the proper paperwork.