NEW SCHOOL IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR MARYLAND KINDERGARTEN AND 7TH GRADE STUDENTS

Baltimore, MD (August 11, 2014) --State and local officials have been working since last year to prepare Maryland parents and schools for new school immunization requirements for students entering kindergarten and 7th grade this fall.  All kindergartners must have had two chickenpox (varicella) vaccinations.  All 7th graders must receive a pertussis booster (Tdap) and dose of meningitis vaccines.  School officials and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) are urging parents to make sure their child is appropriately immunized against these diseases prior to the start of school.  Children may be excluded from school if they do not have these vaccinations.

“We have spent the past year helping parents and schools prepare for these school immunization requirements,"  said Dr. Laura Herrera, Deputy Secretary for DHMH Public Health Services.  "We want to be sure all Maryland children start the school year with up-to-date vaccinations and are ready to learn.”
Immunizations are one of public health’s greatest triumphs.  With the exception of safe water, no other health strategy-- not even the creation of antibiotics--has had such a tremendous effect on reducing disease.  Despite the availability of safe and effective immunizations, thousands of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases occur in the United States every year.  Consider the following facts about varicella, pertussis and meningitis: 
 
Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease that can be spread before a person knows they have the disease.
Chickenpox can lead to serious complications, including pneumonia and brain damage.
One out of five people who get meningococcal meningitis experience serious complications, such as the loss of limb(s), permanent hearing loss, or mental impairment.
In recent years, adolescents (11-18 yrs) and adults (19 yrs and older) have accounted for an increasing proportion of pertussis cases. 
Infants who are at highest risk for complications and death due to pertussis are often infected by older siblings, parents or caregivers who might not even know they have the disease.
 
In preparation for the new requirements, local health departments are holding special back-to-school clinics throughout the state.  Parents should call their doctor or local health department to learn if their child needs any of the school-required vaccinations and make arrangements to receive the missing vaccines so their child will not be excluded from school.
 

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WCHD News

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Take Care During Winter Storms:

  • Stay off roads.
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly.
  • Prepare for power outages.
  • Use generators outside only and away from windows.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Check on neighbors.

Learn more about snow and extreme cold safety here.

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Due to inclement weather, this weekend's showing of "Lost in Woonsocket" at the Red Doors Community Center is canceled until further notice. For more information or if you have any questions please call 410.632.3648.  

RABIES ADVISORY NOTICE

A CONFIRMED RABID RACCOON
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• REPORT IMMEDIATELY sick animals and those acting in an unusual manner, as there may or will be additional rabid animals in this area. Prevent/report contact with people or pets. Contact Animal Control, the County Sheriff’s office or your local Police Department.

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Effective January 2, 2019, the WCHD Vital Records Department will be open Monday - Friday from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm.

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Local Health Improvement Coalitions (LHICs) equip local jurisdictions to determine their public health priorities and address specific public health concerns. The Worcester County Local Health Improvement Coalition seeks a broad membership from the community to assist the local health department and its partners in determining local health priorities and the Community Health Improvement Plan. 

Click the image below for a full schedule of upcoming LHIC meetings:

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 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program