Back to school: New immunization requirements for Illinois, Miss - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Back to school: New immunization requirements for Illinois, Missouri

(Source: Nichole Cartmell/KFVS) (Source: Nichole Cartmell/KFVS)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

For some Heartland students, going back to school means rolling up the sleeves for vaccinations.

In fact, doctor’s offices are typically flooded this time of year.

"Every year we don't let our staff take vacations two weeks before school because we have so many school physicals to work in," Pediatrician Gary Olson said.

Reginald Jennings has two kids that need their shot records updated.

"With the little one going into kindergarten, getting his shots for that. And the older one getting ready for junior high having to do that," Jennings said.

Students aren't typically a fan of this back to school requirement.

"I just hate the needles and then seeing them go into your skin and then you can feel like all the liquid running in your arm it just grosses me out," college freshman Rachel Crites said.

In some cases, though, it is required.

"Some schools will not let you walk in the door unless you have your immunizations," Sandy Gibbons said, the immunization coordinator for the Cape Girardeau County Health Department.

Besides the usual shots for chickenpox, tetanus and whooping cough, there are new immunization requirements for schools in Illinois and Missouri.

Students entering grades six or 12 in Illinois will need proof they’ve been vaccinated against meningitis. 

In Missouri, college students living on campus must have that same proof unless they have a religious or medical exemption.

"We're asking you to check it off for your health rather than asking you to check it off because of some process institutionally  not only because it's going to protect you, it's going to protect those around you... in the case of meningitis and others from things that could be life changing," Brice Skinner said, the Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Director of Residence Life at Southeast Missouri State University.

Gibbons said the vaccines can give everyone peace of mind.

"Our kids are so much more social not just at college but ballgames they drink out of the same one even if you tell them not too. They're just more social ways for kids to get it."

To find out exactly what immunizations your child needs click on the link below:

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