JCPS students have more time to get full dose of hepatitis A vaccine before school starts

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Parents of JCPS students now have more time to get their children fully vaccinated for hepatitis A.

Students initially needed to have the series of two shots before the school year starts in August with the shots having to be administered six months apart.

Now, JCPS officials say students only need the first shot and a temporary certificate to be allowed to go to school.

A new state regulation requires all Kentucky students in preschool through high school to be vaccinated against hepatitis A.

“As we've experienced in our area, there's been an epidemic,” said Dr. Jeff Burton, a pediatrician with Norton Children's Medical Associates.

The first shot of two is more than 90 percent effective according to Burton.

“The first one kind of primes the pump and it does cause the body to recognize a foreign antigen,” Burton said. “(Students) need to get in and get one. They will get a temporary certificate that says they are good for six months.”

After those six months, they will have to get the second shot. That second shot, Burton said, acts as a booster.

Many children are already vaccinated, but that isn't the case for everyone.

“Yeah, but it was an optional vaccine so it wasn't required. So some parents for whatever reason denied treatment,” Burton said.

With less than two months left of summer break, Burton has this message for parents:

“Don't procrastinate. Make the call to the pediatrician’s office to find out if your child has shots, one shot or none.”

JCPS starts Aug. 15, 2018.

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