School Immunization Resources
School Immunization Requirements
In order to continue to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases throughout adolescence, several adolescent immunizations have been added to the school attendance immunization requirements. All West Virginia students entering 7th grade must have one dose of the Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) and one dose of the meningococcal vaccine. Students entering 12th grade must also have at least one dose of the Tdap vaccine and a second dose of the meningococcal vaccine. If the first dose of the meningococcal vaccine was received after age 16, then only one dose of this vaccine is required. For more information about school immunization requirements, click here to visit the WV Division of Immunization Services’ website.
Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective preventive measures available and, as such, have saved countless lives. These immunization requirements not only lengthen the time for which immunized students are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, but also continue to help protect individuals who cannot be immunized due to medical reasons.
School Immunization Requirement Resources
Please visit the Division of Immunization Services’ webpage for more information and for downloadable materials.
Below are some helpful tools that have been developed by WIN, the WV Division of Immunization Services, the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Immunization Action Coalition, and others. Please click on the links below to access the materials.
For Schools, School-Based Health Centers, and Health Departments
For Healthcare Providers
Community Service for Influenza Vaccination
WV Board of Education passed Policy 2423-Health Promotion and Disease Prevention became effective as of September 14, 2015. Included in section 6.4 of this policy is the following: “County boards of education should consider providing one credit hour of community service to students in high school for obtaining and showing proof of their annual influenza (flu) vaccination as a great way to support attendance rates, academic success, well workforce and overall wellness.”
Although influenza vaccination is not typically what comes to mind when one thinks of community service, every time someone is vaccinated against the flu, it truly is a service to the community. Influenza vaccination not only plays an important role in protecting the vaccinated individual from the flu and its complications, but it also helps to reduce transmission from that individual to others, subsequently protecting some of our most vulnerable community members, such as children and adults with chronic diseases, pregnant women, the elderly, infants, and others.
School-age children have the highest annual flu rates, sometimes as high as 42%. Yet, it has been estimated that influenza vaccination of 20% of children can reduce the overall total number of flu cases in the community by 46%, while 80% coverage can reduce the total number of cases by 91%.
Poor influenza vaccination rates among school-age children can be very costly to parents, schools and the community, resulting in high absenteeism during flu season and possible school closures due to high absenteeism, healthcare costs associated with the flu, lost workdays to parents who stay home with their sick children in additional to lost workdays by teachers and other school personnel.
Allowing students to obtain one hour of community service for their annual flu shot will result in many benefits to the students, their schools and their communities. It will help to improve influenza vaccination rates among West Virginia’s school students, thus protecting the vaccinated students as well as students who, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated against influenza; reduce absenteeism; and reduce transmission of influenza within the community as a whole.
The WV Immunization Network (WIN) encourages schools to accept proof of annual influenza vaccination for an hour of the students’ community service requirement. After all, a student spending an hour volunteering in a nursing home and a student spending an hour to make sure that he/she can’t pass on the flu to the residents of the nursing home are both beneficial community services.
WIN has developed the materials below to assist schools in informing students and parents of influenza vaccination for community service. These flyers have blank space on them in which schools may add school-specific information, such as to whom to submit the flu shot documentation.
Other resources for schools: