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ST. PAUL, Minn. - There is still some time before kids head back to school but some area doctors already have an assignment for you.

They want parents to think about getting their kids shots in light of a few changes to Minnesota's immunization law. Sept. 1 is the date new immunization requirements take effect.

At Children's Hospitals and Clinics in St. Paul, the Marr boys of Forest Lake were getting up to date on their immunizations Tuesday. Their mother, Kelly Marr, said it is "very important that they're protected and that they protect others too."

New requirements this school year include Hepatitis A and B vaccinations for children in child care or preschool, the meningitis vaccine for kids entering 7th grade and also a pertussis booster for kids entering 7th grade.

Pertussis is also known as whooping cough. That vaccine will be combined with the already required tetanus-diphtheria vaccine into what's called a Tdap shot.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics pediatrician, Dr. Gigi Chawla, said the sooner kids are immunized the better.

"They take about a month or so to really be full force and working for your body effectively and we want kids to be ready for their school year," said Chawla.

The Minnesota Department of Health has a program for low-income families called Minnesota Vaccines for Children which can help pay part or all of the cost of required vaccines. Those interested in the program can ask their doctor or clinic if they qualify.

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