The Tennessee Department of Health has new rules for immunization requirements for those who attend child care, pre-school, school and college, which became official on December 9, 2009. The changes are listed in the Tennessee Department of Health rules.
Most of the new requirements will take effect on July 1, 2010. The new Official Immunization Certificate will be available in local health departments.
Detailed guidance for healthcare providers on the new rules and certificate is available at the Tennessee Web Immunization System (TWIS) website. Tennessee healthcare providers who give vaccine can register as authorized users and download the form through TWIS beginning April 1, 2010.
The state’s immunization schedule follows the current schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).
A brief summary of the required immunizations for child care facilities, schools and colleges is listed below. The new requirements are in bold print and the effective dates are italicized in parentheses.
All children entering 7th grade (including currently enrolled students)
Children who are new enrollees in a TN school in grades other than Kindergarten or 7th
Children with medical or religious exemption to requirements
Hepatitis B (HBV) – only for health science students expected to have patient contact (before patient contact begins) Effective (July 1, 2011)
Students should also consider the need for the meningococcal vaccine, particularly if the student will be living in a dormitory.
Minimum ages or dose intervals – Tennessee follows published CDC guidelines. For vaccines with critical minimum age requirements (e.g., MMR, varicella) or minimum dose intervals, doses are considered valid if given up to 4 days before the minimum age or dose interval. Doses administered more than 4 days early are considered invalid and should be repeated as recommended.
Alternative proof of immunity for certain diseases – A positive serology (year of test documented) is acceptable as an alternative to immunization for measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A, hepatitis B or varicella. For varicella, documentation of provider diagnosed varicella (year) or provider-verified history of disease given by a parent or guardian (year) also is acceptable. By documenting a history of disease, the provider is asserting that he or she is convinced that the child has had chickenpox.
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