Before school begins, here are the required vaccines your kids need in Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The new school year is fast approaching and area health officials are reminding parents of the required vaccinations before students can start classes.

Many health departments and districts across Hampton Roads are offering clinics to make sure students have the required vaccines for school.

Rising kindergartners must have a list of vaccines and the Tdap vaccine is required before entry into sixth grade.

Health officials say now is the time to get the shots to avoid long lines later.

The following are the school and day care minimum immunization requirements from the Virginia Department of Health:

Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis (DTaP, DTP, or Tdap) – A minimum of 4 doses. A child must have at least one dose of DTaP or DTP vaccine on or after the fourth birthday. DT (Diphtheria, Tetanus) vaccine is required for children who are medically exempt from the pertussis containing vaccine (DTaP or DTP). Adult Td is required for children 7 years of age and older who do not meet the minimum requirements for tetanus and diphtheria. Effective July 1, 2014, a booster dose of Tdap vaccine is required for all children entering the 6th grade.

Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) Vaccine – This vaccine is required ONLY for children up to 60 months of age. A primary series consists of either 2 or 3 doses (depending on the manufacturer). However, the child’s current age and not the number of prior doses received govern the number of doses required. Unvaccinated children between the ages of 15 and 60 months are only required to have one dose of vaccine.

Hepatitis B Vaccine – A complete series of 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine is required for all children. However, the FDA has approved a 2-dose schedule ONLY for adolescents 11-15 years of age AND ONLY when the Merck Brand (RECOMBIVAX HB) Adult Formulation Hepatitis B Vaccine is used. If the 2-dose schedule is used for adolescents 11-15 years of age it must be clearly documented on the school form.

Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) – Effective October 1, 2008, a complete series of 3 doses of HPV vaccine is required for females. The first dose shall be administered before the child enters the 6th grade. After reviewing educational materials approved by the Board of Health, the parent or guardian, at the parent’s or guardian’s sole discretion, may elect for the child not to receive the HPV vaccine.

Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) Vaccine – A minimum of 2 measles, 2 mumps, and 1 rubella. (Most children receive 2 doses of each because the vaccine usually administered is the combination vaccine MMR). First dose must be administered at age 12 months or older. Second dose of vaccine must be administered prior to entering kindergarten but can be administered at any time after the minimum interval between dose 1 and dose 2.

Pneumococcal (PCV) Vaccine – This vaccine is required ONLY for children less than 60 months of age. One to four doses, dependent on age at first dose, of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine are required.

Polio Vaccine – A minimum of 4 doses of polio vaccine. One dose must be administered on or after the fourth birthday. See supplemental guidance document for additional information.

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine – All children born on and after January 1, 1997, shall be required to have one dose of chickenpox vaccine administered at age 12 months or older. Effective March 3, 2010, a second dose must be administered prior to entering kindergarten but can be administered at any time after the minimum interval between dose 1 and dose 2.