Jul 28, 2014
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Sharon Health Board Lowers Minimum Age for MMR, Varicella Vaccines

The health department now can administer the vaccines at age 5, rather than 7.

Sharon Health Board Lowers Minimum Age for MMR, Varicella Vaccines

The Sharon Board of Health has lowered its minimum age for administering the measles-mumps-rubella and Varicella vaccines.

The board voted to lower the age to 5, from 7, as presented by Public Health Nurse Sheila Miller and school physician Mitchell Posner, M.D., and former health board member Elizabeth Barnett, M.D., who advises the board on occasion.

Monday night's vote also applies to administering any other age-appropriate "catch-up" vaccines.

Miller said she encounters four or five situations each year where youngsters need shots to meet the schools' health requirements for enrollment.

These children often are new to Sharon, she said.

"The schools will not allow these children entry until they've had their immunizations," Miller said.

Posner said the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends two MMR and two Varicella shots by age 5.

These are "diseases that are highly contagious. You certainly would not want an outbreak in the schools," Posner said.

Miller said the Sharon Health Department's minimum immunization age is 5 for the flu and other matters.

A previous health board set the MMR and Varicella age at 7, she said.

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