Did you know that all Washington State high school students will be required to get the Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine? Starting this fall (2016-2017 school year), all students 9th through 12th grade will be required to have two doses of the vaccine before they begin school. Some of these students will already be prepared because in 2015, Washington state required all students in kindergarten-8th grade to get two doses of varicella vaccine. For students who have already received both doses, no additional dose is needed.
The varicella vaccine can help prevent young adults from getting chickenpox which can have serious complications for teenagers. Beyond the chickenpox illness, people who have been infected are also at risk for developing shingles later in life.
Students in grades 9-12 will be required to do ONE of the following:
- Provide documentation of the dates their 2 doses of varicella vaccine were received on their Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) form.
- Get the required two doses of varicella vaccine. Doses must be at least 28 days apart.
- Get healthcare provider verification of history of varicella infection.
- Show proof of immunity by blood test (titer). Documentation must include: Date of the blood test showing serologic proof of immunity to varicella or herpes zoster.
- Submit a certificate of Exemption (COE) for a medical, religious or personal/philosophical reason.
- Parental documentation of history of varicella disease is no longer accepted for these students.
Action now will help you and your teenager be prepared this fall for school. Contact us to schedule your appointment now with your healthcare provider to stay up-to-date on the new chickenpox vaccine as well as all vaccine requirements for the 2016-17 school year.
For more information and frequently asked questions about the new chickenpox vaccine requirements, talk to your provider or visit the Department of Health’s website.