August 24, 2009
An emergency rule initiated by the Texas Department of State Health Services extends until Oct. 1 the time parents have to get their children in compliance with some of the vaccination requirements for school attendance. The extension applies only to three vaccines: Meningococcal, tetanus/diphtheria/acellular pertussis (Tdap) and varicella. Shortages of these vaccines have been reported around the state.
DSHS officials said available supply of these three vaccines in some local clinics and medical offices has been exhausted due to an increased demand.
Revised vaccination requirements announced last spring for the 2009-2010 school year added doses of the three vaccines at certain grade levels.
Without the extension, full immunizations would have been required beginning the first day of school.
The emergency rule was signed by Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Albert Hawkins and was submitted to the Texas Register this morning and is effective immediately.
Pertussis is another name for whooping cough. Varicella refers to chicken pox.
(News Media Contact: Doug McBride, DSHS Press Officer, 512-458-7524.)