The state Department of Health and Hospitals wants to remind parents that it’s important to make sure children get their immunizations and it’s the law, according to a DHH news release.

State law requires that children 4 years old and older who are entering kindergarten, pre-kindergarten, daycare or Head Start programs must have received a booster dose of Poliovirus vaccine, two doses of Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine, three doses of Hepatitis vaccine, two doses of Varicella vaccine and a booster dose of Diphtheria Tetanus Acellular Pertussis vaccine.

Also, children who are 11 years old or are entering the sixth grade must have proof of all age-appropriate immunizations, including a new meningitis) vaccine requirement.

“When we don’t vaccinate, we leave the door open for the return of diseases such as measles and whooping cough, which continue to be a threat to babies, children, and adults in the United States,” said DHH Immunization Medical Director Dr. Frank Welch. “School vaccination laws have helped eliminate major vaccine-preventable diseases. So, avoid the rush and take the time now to schedule your children for their back-to-school vaccinations.”

Parents should contact their physician, a parish health unit, or a federally qualified health center to make an appointment to get their child vaccinated and to get a copy of their child’s shot record. If you are unable to get your child’s records directly from your health care provider, the Louisiana Immunization Network for Kids Statewide database, or any other method, your child will need to get re-vaccinated in order to get a new record.