Don’t Wait to Schedule Immunization Appointments
VALDOSTA – Lowndes County Health Department encourages parents to not wait until the last minute to get their child’s back to school vaccinations. To make the process easier for parents, the health department will be hosting a “Back to School Bash” on July 12-16 and July 26-30.
The health department offers immunizations every day, but during the back-to-school bash each child who receives their vaccinations will be given a free goodie bag as well as snacks.
Immunizations that children may need before starting school include Tdap, meningococcal, the human papillomavirus (HPV) series or catch-up immunizations, including chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and hepatitis B.
Parents are reminded that, starting the 2021-2022 school year, all students entering or transferring into 11th grade will need proof of a meningococcal booster shot (MCV4), unless their first dose was received on or after their 16th birthday.
MCV4 or meningococcal conjugate vaccine, is a two-dose series. It helps protect against four types of the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease (serogroups A, C, W and Y). While most people who get the vaccine do not have any serious side effects it is always a possibility. The most common side effects include redness or pain where the shot was given and occasionally a fever. These side effects typically go away within 1-2 days.
Students entering the 7th grade also need documentation of one dose of meningococcal vaccine and one dose of an adolescent pertussis (whooping cough) booster immunization (called “Tdap”) to begin classes in the new school year. Proof of immunization must be documented on the Georgia immunization certificate (Form 3231).
In addition to vaccinations, Ear, Eye and Dental screening forms (Form 3300) will also be available during the back-to-school bash. Form 3330 is required for all students entering a Georgia school for the first time.
“We are excited to offer our annual back-to-school bash this year,” said Kim Davis, RN County Nurse Manager for Lowndes County Health Department. “We always see a rush at the end of the summer, so we encourage parents to beat the rush and go ahead and get your child’s school immunizations and forms completed.
Lowndes County Health Department also wants to remind all parents and students that vaccination remains one of our best tools for stopping the spread of COVID-19, along with basic prevention measures when necessary – wearing a mask, distancing from others, avoiding large gatherings, and washing your hands frequently. COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals 18 and older are available through the health department.
For more information on the back-to-school bash and to schedule your appointment, call the Lowndes County Health Department at 229-333-5257.