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Hepatitis A vaccine added to required immunizations for Indiana schools

ELKHART, Ind. – Parents can add a new vaccination to the long list of things to check off the back-to-school list. Indiana is now requiring students to get a vaccine for the Hepatitis A virus.

The vaccine will be required for sixth grade students and 12th grade students.

According to the Indiana Department of Health, the state is experiencing an outbreak of Hepatitis A virus.

Health Services Coordinator for Elkhart Community schools, John McClure says that doctors have already been recommending the vaccine to his students. “It’s a routine in their offices. So about half of my kids are already for school,” he said.

Per the US Department of Health and Human Resources, Hepatitis A is transmitted through food and drinks among other things. It is highly contagious and the illness can be mild or severe.

The Indiana Department of Health says that there have been 8 outbreaks of the virus in Elkhart county and 6 in Kosciusko county since November 2017.

The vaccine for hepatitis A resulted from recommendations from a committee by the Center for Disease Control, and the immunizations required for school are set by legislation.

But for kids worried about getting the shot before the school year, McClure says not to fear. “Being sick because of the disease is a lot more devastating than getting a little bitty shot.”

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