Deadline approaching for childrens immunizations

Published 3:36 pm Thursday, September 16, 2010

After September 24 children who are not up to date on required vaccines will not be able to return to school until vaccines are received. If your child has received the required vaccines please advise the school staff before the 24th of September.

Immunization requirements for children entering kindergarten or 6th grade:

Children entering kindergarten or 6th grade in N.C. schools must have their immunization records up-to-date. Rutherford, Polk and McDowell County Health Departments offer required school entry immunizations Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

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According to the N.C. Immunization Branch 67 percent of N.C. children qualify for the federally funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which provides required vaccinations for eligible children through age 18. To qualify a child must be:

Medicaid eligible

American Indian or Alaskan Native

Uninsured, or

Underinsured. Underinsured means a child has health insurance, but the insurance will not cover the vaccine(s) because it doesnt cover any vaccines, it doesnt cover certain vaccines, or it covers vaccines, but it has a fixed dollar limit or cap for vaccines. Once that fixed dollar amount has been reached, a child is eligible.

There is no fee for the cost for VFC vaccines for eligible children at the health department.

Recent changes to the N.C. Immunization Program (NCIP) means that free, state funded vaccines are no longer provided to insured children. There has been a one-time funding that was approved by the General Assembly that will allow the health departments and physicians who participate in the N.C. Immunization program to provide a limited amount of free vaccine beginning in late August to children entering kindergarten through the 8th grade. Once this supply of free vaccine is depleted, patients with insurance will need to use their insurance plan to receive vaccine services. In some cases, this may require a co-pay or deductible.

Parents are encouraged to check with their childs health care provider or insurance provider to find out which vaccine services are covered by their plans. For details on school immunization requirements in N.C., visit