Staff with the Madison Central School District sent out a reminder last week through the district website that parents need to provide certification from a physician that each boy and girl has received, or is receiving, the proper immunizations for communicable diseases.

State law requires that school students and children in early childhood programs have adequate immunizations from polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, mumps, tetanus, meningitis and chickenpox.

The South Dakota Department of Health lists the Madison Regional Health System, the city's hospital on the south edge of town, and the department's Community Health Services office in the Lake County Courthouse as the area's childhood vaccine providers.

Parents are asked to call the Lake County Community Health Services office at 256-5309 or email DOHMadisonClinic@state.sd.us before visiting.

Madison Central will hold its district-wide student registration program from 1-7 p.m. on Aug. 4-5 in the middle and high school commons area. The first day of classes for Madison's public schools is scheduled on Aug. 20.

If parents need help with their children's immunizations, they are advised to call a local primary care doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or the Community Health Office because most health-care providers provide childhood immunizations.

Minimum immunization requirements for kindergarten through 12th-grade students are:

-- Four or more doses of diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus vaccine, with at least one dose administered on or after age 4. Children 7 years or older needing the primary series only need three doses. Children receiving six doses before age 4 do not require any additional doses for kindergarten entry. The maximum DTaP immunizations a child should receive is six doses. If a child has an incomplete DTaP primary series, parents should contact the state Department of Health for help.

-- Four or more doses of poliovirus vaccine, at least one dose on or after age 4.

-- Two doses of a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (called MMR or MMRV). Minimum age for the first dose is 12 months. The second dose may be administered prior to age 4 provided at least 28 days have passed since the first dose.

-- Two doses of chickenpox vaccine (varicella or MMRV). The minimum age for the first dose of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine is 12 months.

The requirements for students entering the sixth grade are:

-- One dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough) is required for 6th-grade entry if the child is 11 years old. If the child is 10 years old when entering 6th grade, they have 45 days after their 11th birthday to receive the Tdap vaccination. If a child 7 years or older has an incomplete DTaP primary series, parents are advised to contact the state Department of Health for assistance.

-- One dose of meningococcal vaccine (MCV4) is required for 6th-grade entry if the child is 11 years old. If the child is 10 years old when entering 6th grade they have 45 days after their 11th birthday to receive the meningococcal vaccine.

State Health Department officials advise that children also receive vaccinations for Hib, Hepatitis A and B, HPV and pneumococcal diseases and the annual flu shot, but those vaccinations are not required.

The S.D. Department of Health supplies childhood vaccines to boys and girls eligible for the federal Vaccines for Children Program. The state health staff members follow policies for eligible children that include:

-- No charges for the vaccine, but parents may be asked to pay an administration fee, which is capped at $20.73 per injection.

-- The administration fee must be waived if parents are unable to pay.

-- Parents may need to pay an office visit fee in order to receive the vaccine.

For more information, parents can call the state DOH immunization program offices at 1-800-592-1861 or email tim.health.sd.us.