Plan Now for Your Child's Back to School Immunizations

Monday, June 21, 2010 - 5:19am

Although summer has barely begun, it is time for parents to begin planning for the new school year by getting their child(ren) immunized for fall school entry. "Now is a good time to make an appointment with your health care provider, or go to a free public health immunization clinic to have your child immunized," says Diane McHugh, Immunization Coordinator for Public Health - Madison and Dane County. "Get it done early so you can avoid the late summer rush at doctor's offices and immunization clinics."

Changes in the Wisconsin Student Immunization Law for the 2010-11 school year require a tetanus/pertussis/diphtheria booster (Tdap) for grades 6-12, and a second varicella dose is required for grades K-2, 6-8, and 12th. (By the 2013 school year, all grades, K-12, will be included for the second varicella dose.) The varicella vaccine protects against chickenpox. Previously only one dose was required, now a second dose is required. The Tdap booster protects against pertussis (whooping cough) which can cause severe coughing for a long period of time. Vaccinating older children will also protect infants younger than 6 months, who are much more likely to become seriously ill from pertussis, but are too young to be fully protected by the vaccine.

Immunizations are safe and effective, protecting your child's health as well as protecting others around them. In addition to the required vaccines, there are other important vaccines such as meningococcal and human papillomavirus (HPV) that are recommended for older children and teens. Talk to your child's health care provider to be sure you have received all the immunizations recommended to protect their health.

The Wisconsin Immunization Registry is an easy way to check you or your child's immunization record. You can find the information at the following website:

Public Health-Madison and Dane County has free immunization clinics in Madison (East and South), Verona, Middleton, Stoughton, and Sun Prairie. Appointments are not needed. For a schedule, call 246-4516, or go to


  • Diane McHugh, Immunization Program Coordinator(608) 243-0393