For Immediate Release
August 15, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

KDHE Advises Varicella Vaccination Requirement is One Dose for Upcoming School Year

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has announced that contrary to information that has been provided to schools earlier this year, Kansas students are not required to receive two doses of Varicella vaccination prior to enrolling for the 2007 – 2008 school year.

In a memo to Kansas school nurses in January of this year, KDHE had notified school districts that two doses of the vaccination, which provides increased immunity to chickenpox, would become mandatory for kindergarten and first graders. One dose of the vaccination had been required in previous years.

Although it is highly recommended that all children receive two doses of the Varicella vaccination, a recent audit of the current regulations revealed that only one dose is actually required for school attendance this school year. New regulations are in the process of being approved that will require the second dose, but will not be approved prior to the start of classes.

“We recognize that some of our communications regarding this issue have been confusing for parents, schools and health care providers,” said Dr. Howard Rodenberg, State Health Officer. “We want to make sure that this confusion does not preclude any Kansas children from attending school.”