Whether you have just moved to Kentucky or your child is becoming school aged, there may be several mandatory requirements that must be fulfilled. Upon entering public schools in Kentucky, the school will have to have a few items prior to enrollment. A physical, birth certificate, copy of the child’s social security card, and most importantly a current immunization certificate. Without a current immunization certificate, not only can the child not attend school but daycare. The parent can also be held legally accountable for not having his/her child vaccinated. Since immunization requirements tend to vary by state, this is a rundown of what your child must have particularly for Kentucky public school systems.
According to the Cabinet for Health Services, every child should be administered vaccinations at the minimum ages and intervals recommended by the ACIP. However, depending on the brand of the vaccination and age at which it was administered these may vary. Children are required to have Dtap or DTP, IPV or OPV, HIB, HEP B, Varicella, MMR, a measles containing vaccine, and Td or Tdap which is commonly referred to as a booster or tetanus shot. These vaccinations protect against possibly fatal and pandemic diseases in nature such as polio, tetanus, measles, small pox, and whooping cough to name a few. As mentioned previously, the frequency and intervals will depend on prior vaccinations and the age of the child.
These state vaccination requirements can be obtained at almost any licensed facility. This may include local health departments, a physicians office, and public health fairs. The school will also require that the documentation of these immunizations be provided on an approved certificate. An approved immunization certificate is obtained from the agency where the child received his or her school vaccinations. The document must be signed and will typically have a seal from the licensed facility to verify authenticity.
There are few exceptions to the Kentucky schools immunization guidelines. However, those who object to having their child immunized based on medical and/or religious reasons are generally exempt. Medical exemptions must be reasonable and must be verified by a licensed physician. Those who decline immunization based on religious reasons must have a written sworn statement to this fact upon entering school. In the event of a pandemic though, public health officials can require that these individuals be vaccinated though.
More information regarding Kentucky school and state vaccination requirements, can be found at http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/epi/Immunization+Program.htm. There you can find a complete listing of required immunizations, where to get them, and at what age your child should have them.
KY Cabinet for Health Services. 2009. http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/default.htm.