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Health Department reminds parents to get children updated vaccines

The new school year will be here before you know it, and the North Dakota Department of Health would like to remind parents to make sure their children are up to date on immunizations.

North Dakota state law requires students in grades kindergarten through 12 to meet a minimum number of required immunizations before they are allowed to attend school. Children have a 30-day grace period from the start of the school year before they will be excluded from school for not meeting immunization requirements.

“Ensuring children are up to date on vaccinations is the best way to keep students healthy and stop the spread of infectious diseases such as measles, mumps and pertussis in our schools,” said Lexie Barber, an epidemiologist with the NDDoH.  

If you haven’t done so, check with your health care provider to find out which vaccines your child needs. Once your child is up to date, be sure to get a copy of his or her immunization record to submit to the school.

“Children who are not immunized are not only at risk of becoming ill from a variety of diseases but are also able to transmit diseases to others, including those who may not be able to be vaccinated due to various medical conditions,” Barber said.

Before entering school in North Dakota, children must have:

  • five doses of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis)
  • four doses of IPV (polio)
  • three doses of HBV (hepatitis B)
  • two doses of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
  • two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

In addition, students entering seventh grade will need:    

  • one dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis)
  • one dose of MCV4 (meningococcal disease)

Cost should not be a barrier to getting children updated on vaccinations. Children who are Native Americans, on Medicaid, uninsured or whose insurance does not cover vaccines can receive vaccine at no cost through the Vaccines for Children Program. Contact your health care provider or local public health unit if you believe your child could be eligible for Vaccines for Children Program vaccines.

For more information on school immunization requirements, contact Barber at (701) 328-2335 or visit