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South Health District

Back-to-School Shots Reminder

The month of August is a turning point every year. Summer vacation is winding down, back-to-school shopping has commenced and students hurry to finish their summer reading. This year, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) wants August’s back-to-school awareness messages to be your reminder to make sure your immunizations are current. Recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month, DPH reminds Georgians to stay up-to-date and get a head start on vaccinations required for school age children.

“Immunizations are the best way to fight vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Lisa Thomas, RN, nursing and clinical director. “Our goal is more than to keep our children healthy, it’s also to protect them and those around them from vaccine-preventable diseases.”

August serves as a reminder that people of all ages require timely immunizations to protect their health. Students born on or after January 1, 2002 and entering the seventh-grade need proof of an adolescent pertussis (whooping cough) booster and adolescent meningococcal vaccinations. Every child in a Georgia school system (kindergarten-12th grade), attending a child care facility, or a student of any age entering a Georgia school for the first time is required by law to have a Georgia Immunization Certificate, Form 3231.

Every adult in Georgia (19 years and older) should follow the recommended immunization schedule by age and medical condition. Vaccinations protect you and loved ones around you; especially infants and those individuals who are unable to be immunized or who have a weakened immune system. The most up-to-date adult vaccine schedule can be found on The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines.

Vaccines protect families, teens and children by preventing diseases. “They help avoid expensive therapies and hospitalization needed to treat infectious diseases like influenza and pneumococcal disease,” says Thomas. “They also reduce absences both at school and at work and decrease the spread of illness in the home, workplace and community.”

This August, be smart and get immunized. DPH reminds adults to check with their healthcare provider for their current immunization recommendations as well as parents to check for their children. For more information call your local health department.

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