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Health Watch: Which Shots When?

Meeting the immunization requirements

By Gwendolyn Zepeda

August is Hous­ton’s back-to-school month – and, of course, crunch time for parents. On the list along­side buying school supplies and uniforms is making sure children get the appropriate vaccinations. Here are general guidelines to make sure your child is ready before classes begin.

The all-important immunization record

When a child is administered immunizations, the doses are recorded on a piece of card­stock otherwise known as a shot record. You’ll need this document to register your child for school. If you can’t locate it, contact your pediatrician.

Ready for kindergarten

Children who regularly visit their pediatrician for checkups usually receive all the necessary immunizations needed to start kindergarten in any Texas school. Here are the required vaccines:

Vaccine

Dosage

Notes

Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis(DTaP/DTP/DT/Td/Tdap)

5 doses (meaning 5 separate shots on 5 different dates)

4 doses if the fourth dose occurred on or after your child’s fourth birthday

Polio

4 doses

3 doses if the third dose occurred on or after your child’s fourth birthday

Hepatitis B

3 doses

Not required for children under the age of 11

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)

2 doses

The first occurring on or after your child’s first birthday

Hepatitis A

2 doses

The first occurring on or after your child’s first birthday

Varicella (Chickenpox)

2 doses

The first occurring on or after your child’s first birthday

Later grades

What if your child enrolls in a Texas school after kindergarten? The vaccines listed above are enough to meet requirements for grades one through six. In some cases, fewer dosages may be required; visit dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/ school for complete information.
Before students can enter grades 7 through 12, or any Texas college, one dose of the meningococcal vaccine is required.

Find out more

Texas immunization requirements are updated yearly. For more detailed information and preschool immunization requirements, visit
dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school.