Early vaccination being encouraged
With schools having recently let out for the summer break, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is getting an early start encouraging parents to get their children parents to get their children vaccinated now to avoid the back-to-school rush later this summer. The DSHS recently issued a release stating that parents should plan ahead and take advantage of the current time away from school so that clinics and health care providers are not overwhelmed by a last-minute demand for vaccines.
Last year, DSHS implemented new vaccination requirements for five vaccines for students in kindergarten and seventh grade. The new requirements are being phased in over several years. For the 2010-2011 school year, the requirements also will apply to first- and eighth-graders who did not receive the required vaccines in kindergarten or seventh grade. When the new requirements were implemented last year, DSHS observed that many physicians’ offices and clinics were overwhelmed last summer by last-minute demand for vaccines. Children are required to be fully immunized before the first day of school.
The following are the new vaccination requirements announced last year. For a complete list of all vaccine requirements, go to www. dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school/default.shtm. • Before attending the first day of school, kindergarteners and first-graders need to have had: Two varicella or chickenpox vaccines, two hepatitis A vaccines and two MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines.
• Seventh through 12th grade students need to have had one booster shot of the Tdap vaccine (a combination of the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccines).
• Students entering seventh grade are required to have had a booster dose of Tdap only if it has been five years since their last dose of a tetanus-containing vaccine.
• Eighth through 12th grade students need to have had a booster dose of Tdap only if has been 10 years since their last dose of tetanus-containing vaccine.
• Seventh- and eighth-graders need to get two doses of chickenpox vaccine if they have not had the illness and one dose of the meningitis vaccine.
The Texas Legislature is required to redistrict house and senate districts in the first regular session immediately following the release of the U.S. decennial census. On June 2, the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence met jointly with the House Committee on Redistricting to consider recent legal, technological and demographic developments including a presentation from the Office of the State Demographer, relating to the upcoming redistricting.
Subcommittees of the House Committees on Redistricting and Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence will soon be conducting public hearings on redistricting in different parts of the state. All interested parties are invited to attend these hearings, the first of which will be held in San Antonio on Monday, June 21. The purpose of the subcommittee hearings is to allow all persons or organizations interested in the redistricting process to offer public comment and communicate directly with the legislative committee members.
The San Antonio redistricting hearing will be held at the UTSA-Downtown Campus in Room BV1.326, Buena Vista Theater, located at 501 W. Durango St. The hearing will begin at 10a.m. Parking is available in the Cattleman’s Square parking lot. Future hearings will be held in McAllen on July 19 and in Corpus Christi on July 21. For details, see the Texas Legislative Council’s website at: http://www. tlc.state.tx.us/redist/redist.html.
As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments.
Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, is the District 32 State Representative. Contact him at E2-808, P.O. Box 2910, Austin TX 78768; (512) 463-0672 or firstname.lastname@example.org.