Monday, July 7, 2008

New immunization requirements for school children

Casa Grande, AZ – Parents of some school aged children will be adding
another item to the "back to school" list now that the Arizona
Department of Health Services announced new immunization requirements.
Prior to school entry, all Arizona children entering 6th
grade will be required to be vaccinated against meningococcal disease
(with the quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine MCV4) and
pertussis (with the tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis
vaccine, Tdap).

It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it. Vaccines
prevent serious, sometimes life-threatening diseases. This new
requirement was established upon the availability of vaccines to help
prevent these serious diseases.

Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by bacteria. It is
the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children 2-18 (in the
US). Meningitis is an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and
spinal cord. Pertussis (known as whooping cough) is a highly
contagious illness with a prolonged cough. Pertussis can be life
threatening if transmitted to infants.

Parents can learn more about and receive these and other required and
recommended vaccines from a family physician, community health center
or public health clinic. To learn more visit, or

Sun Life Family Health Center is a not-for-profit organization
providing health care to Casa Grande, Eloy, Coolidge, Maricopa,
Mammoth, Oracle and San Manuel. The Casa Grande facility is the
flagship of the organization, offering multi-specialty services
including Family Practice, OB/GYN, Dental, Radiology, Pharmacy and
Laboratory. The San Manuel facility also offers Laboratory, Radiology
and Pharmacy services. Behavioral Health services are also available
at the Casa Grande and San Manual facilities. Sun Life is one of two
community health centers in the state receiving accreditation from the
Joint Commission.