Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
August 8, 2016

Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9356

Send Your Children Back to School with Up-to-Date Vaccinations
August is National Immunization Awareness Month
Note:  Sound bites on this topic are available at:

Lincoln— Checking to see if your child’s vaccinations are up-to-date should be a part of your back-to-school routine just like backpacks, notebooks and number two pencils.

Nebraska law requires children enrolling in kindergarten or first grade (depending on their school district’s entering grade) and transfer students of any grade to have proof that they’ve received the following vaccinations:
  • three doses of hepatitis B vaccine
  • three doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTaP)
  • three doses of poliovirus vaccine (IPV)
  • two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR)
  • two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
Children entering seventh grade and transfer students (seventh grade or above) must have received all of the vaccinations listed above, as well as one booster dose of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine.

If boys or girls (age 11 or 12 years) have not received the human papillomavirus vaccine, this is a good time to discuss the benefits of receiving this vaccination with your health care provider. The HPV vaccine prevents various forms of cancer but remains underutilized. In Nebraska, 43.3 percent of girls and 22.3 percent of boys have received the recommended three doses of HPV vaccine.

Parents with children heading to college may want to consider meningococcal vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, college freshmen, particularly those who live in residence halls, are at an increased risk for meningococcal disease. The vaccine can help prevent serious illnesses like bacterial meningitis. College freshmen and their parents should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with their health care providers.

Children enrolled in licensed child care and school-based pre-K programs also need to be up-to-date with their age-appropriate immunizations.

“Getting children all of the recommended vaccines is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children from serious diseases,” said Sara Morgan, Lifespan Health Administrator for DHHS. “Back-to-school or sports physicals provide a great opportunity to check with your child’s physician to find out what vaccines he or she may need.”

On a visit to a physician or immunization clinic, bring along a current list of your child’s vaccinations. Parents can get copies of immunization records from their child's physician or look in the Nebraska State Immunization Information System, a secure, statewide database.

Quick stats on child and adolescent vaccine coverage in Nebraska: 
  • Nebraska ranked 4th in the nation for vaccine coverage among children 19-35 months old at just over 80 percent for 2014, the most recent year data is available.
  • Nebraska ranked 14th in the nation for estimated vaccination coverage among children enrolled in kindergarten at 96 percent for the 2014-2015 school year.
  • Nebraska ranked 29th in the nation for vaccine coverage among adolescents 13-17 years old in 2014. 

For more vaccination information, please contact DHHS’ Immunization Program at 402-471-6423 or email or visit their website at