Childhood and Adolescent Immunizations
Don’t wait to vaccinate! This page is a basic guide for required school vaccinations as well a recommended vaccinations for your children.
MINIMUM SCHOOL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
- At least 4 doses of DTaP/DTP Vaccine with the last dose after the fourth birthday.
- At least 3 doses of OPV/IPV (polio) Vaccine with the last dose after the fourth birthday.
- Second dose of MMR is required for school entry into kindergarten.
- Two doses of Varicella (Chicken Pox) are required for all students K-12 (or evidence of disease, please see explanation below)
ADOLESCENT IMMUNIZATION SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS
- Tdap (Tetanus, diptheria, and acellular pertussis): Tdap is required for students prior to attending 7th grade. Students currently in grades 8th-12th who have not yet received their Tdap will require a single dose.
- MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella): Two doses are required for school entry.
- Varicella (Chickenpox): Two doses are required with 3 months between doses 1 and 2. If the child is 13 years and older, there only needs to be a minimum 4 weeks between dose 1 and 2.
- Parental verbal report of the child having had chickenpox will not be accepted.
- A healthcare provider can sign off that a child has had a history of chickenpox. This must be signed off by either a MD, DO, NP or a PA.
- If the child has had chickenpox and cannot get a healthcare provider to sign off, then the child can have a titer done to check for immunity.
ADOLESCENT IMMUNIZATION RECOMMENDED
- Hepatitis A (if not given already) – two dose series.
- Hepatitis B (if not given already) – three dose series.
- Human Papillomavirus Virus (HPV): This is the first vaccine which can combat cancer of the cervix in women. For men, it will help prevent genital warts. This is a three shot series given over a course of 6 months to females through age 26 years old and to males through age 21 years.
- Meningococcal: This vaccine helps prevent meningitis and blood stream infections. Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness which can spread through exchange of respiratory and throat secretions. All children ages 11-12 years old should be vaccinated with meningococcal conjugate vaccine with a booster dose given between the ages of 16 to 18 years old. Adolescents who receive their first dose of meningococcal vaccine at or after age 16 years do not need a booster dose.
- Pneumonia: For high risk adolescents with chronic diseases including diabetes, asthma, heart or lung problems or whose spleen has been removed.
- Seasonal Influenza (Flu): A yearly dose of Flu vaccine is recommended for anyone who is 6 months of age and older. It is especially essential for teens with chronic diseases including diabetes, asthma, heart or lung problems or whose spleen has been removed.
Vaccines for Children Program
The federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program offers vaccines at no cost for children under the age of 19 who meet at least one of the following criteria:
- The child is eligible for Medicaid
- The child has no health insurance coverage
- The child is American Indian (as defined by the Indian Health Care Improvement Act) or Alaska Native
- The child has private health insurance that doesn’t cover vaccines, covers only selected vaccines, or caps vaccine coverage at a certain amount
Children whose health insurance covers the cost of immunizations aren’t eligible for VFC vaccine, even if coverage isn’t available because a deductible hasn’t been met.
VFC vaccines can be administered by any enrolled program provider. There is usually a fee for the administration of each dose. Ask your child’s health-care provider for more information or contact the health nurse at (406) 283-2447.
Children under 19 who have no insurance may also be eligible for low- or no-cost insurance through the Healthy Montana Kids Program. For more information, call toll-free 1-877-543-7669 or visit www.hmk.mt.gov.