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New Immunization Law Takes Effect For Students This Fall

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Changes to Minnesota's Immunization law take effect this fall and doctors are reminding parents to schedule appointments prior the last-minute rush before the start of the school year.

Even in mid-July, prepping for school is top of mind for Minneapolis resident Clevet Tellis and her children.

"I have one going into seventh grade, so he needs school supplies. I have one going into second grade. It's kind of rough because you have to go to different stores to find this particular type of paper, these folders, these markers," Tellis said.

Tellis crossed one item off her to-do list by bringing her children to Hennepin County Medical Center to get their required immunizations Monday.

"It's kind of interesting because when I was growing up they didn't have all these different kinds of shots," Tellis said.

Doctor Dawn Martin with HCMC says most of the requirements under the updated law are not exactly new practices, but it takes the law some time to catch up when it comes to the controversial topic of vaccines.

"With these new changes in Minnesota state immunization law, now school immunization law more closely aligns with what providers have been doing for seven or eight years, and what is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP)," Martin said.

Parents of seventh graders, like Tellis, will have to show proof their child has had an updated tetanus shot with protection against whooping cough.

"Infants and children are vaccinated against whooping cough, as infants and young toddlers, and  then that immunity wanes. So, it is important to boost them as they enter adolescents or young adulthood," Martin said.

Martin said it is a good idea to have children of all ages visit the doctor's office before the start of each school year, even if they do not need any updated immunizations.

"Healthcare providers will also want to check in on a child's other chronic medical problems, growth and development," Martin said.

Medical and conscientious exemptions are still allowed under the law.

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