MS School Immunization Laws
In order to enroll in any public or private kindergarten, elementary, or secondary school in Mississippi, a student must provide the school with a:
Certificate of Immunization Compliance (Form 121) - MUST be signed by the District Health Officer, a physician, or a nurse.
Certificate of Medical Exemption (Form 122) - is not computer generated. This form MUST be signed by the District Health Officer (refer to the Medical Exemption section for specific information.)
The list of immunizations required is specified by the State Health Officer and is promulgated at least annually as directed by state statute. All vaccines are to be given at the appropriate age and intervals according to ACIP recommendations. The required vaccines are listed below.
MS School Entry Immunization Requirements 2012-2013a
Vaccine/Antigen No. of Doses Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP)b 5c Polio (IPV) 4d Hepatitis B 3 Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) 2e Varicella (chickenpox) 2f Tdap 1g
- All children entering a Mississippi school (any grade) for the first time will be required to have the above listed immunizations. This includes Pre-K 4-year-olds – 12th grade.
- Children entering a Mississippi school after their 7th birthday, who do not meet the above DTaP requirements, will need at least 3 total doses of diphtheria/tetanus containing vaccine (Td). Tdap should be used as one of the three diphtheria/tetanus containing vaccines (preferably as the first of the 3 doses) for children age 10 years and older. Refer to the Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP) catch up schedule at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/default.htm.
- If the 4th dose is received on or after the 4th birthday, a 5th dose is not required.
- The final dose in the series should be administered at age ≥4 years of age, regardless of number of previous doses.
- MMR vaccine may only be waived if there is a documented physician’s diagnosis of previous infection with measles, mumps and rubella disease or a serological confirmation of immunity to measles, mumps and rubella.
- Varicella vaccine will be waived for evidence of past infection, including past history of chickenpox or a serological confirmation of immunity to chickenpox.
- Beginning 2012-2013 school year all students entering, advancing to 7th grade, transferring into 7th grade will need proof of an adolescent whooping cough (pertussis) booster, Tdap immunization, before entry into school in the fall. Tdap vaccine given on or after the 7th birthday meets the new school requirement.
Tdap Vaccination Now Required for All Students Entering 7th Grade
Mississippi will join 41 other states in requiring a recent Tdap vaccination for all students entering the 7th grade, beginning with the 2012-2013 school year.
Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccination provides protection against whooping cough (pertussis), a highly contagious disease that can be severe or fatal, especially in very young children. Infants who are too young to be vaccinated against pertussis must be protected by ensuring that adolescents and adults around them cannot carry the disease.
Why vaccinate at this age?
The immunity received from early childhood vaccination against pertussis weakens over time. Because pertussis is highly contagious, adolescents can contract the disease and easily transmit it to younger children and infants. Pertussis, especially among infants, is now an increasing problem in Mississippi and the U.S. as a whole.
Teens at this age also qualify for other recommended vaccinations which you may wish to schedule at the same time.
What other vaccinations are recommended for teens?
Additional recommended vaccinations include those against meningococcal disease, human papillomavirus (HPV), and a varicella (chickenpox) booster for those who did not receive one at an earlier age.
Is this vaccination required for all new seventh-graders?
Yes. In order to enter school, all students entering the seventh grade must have documentation from a physician verifying that they have received a recent Tdap vaccination (at age seven or later). This includes new students, current students and transfer students in both public and private schools.
What does the Tdap vaccination cost?
Vaccines for Children (VFC) providers and county health departments throughout the state provide the required Tdap vaccination for $10 per child.