Summer vacation is winding down and school will commence soon, but is your child completely ready to start school? Local public health officials encourage you to stay up-to-date and get vaccinations required for school age children now.
“Immunizations are the best way to fight vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Reomona Thomas, RN, immunization coordinator. “Our goal is more than to keep our children healthy, it’s also to protect them and those around them from vaccine-preventable diseases.”
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, and an Ear, Eye, Dental and Nutrition Screening, Form 3300.
Brooks, Echols, Lowndes and Tift County Health Departments can also supply certified birth certificates for children born anywhere in the state of Georgia.
Health departments will administer the flu shot or flu mist during school-based flu clinics to all students that have returned a signed parental consent form to their school in the fall. Information will be sent home with each student through the schools.
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.”
For more information, call your local health department.