Berrien Health Dept. Hosting Back-To-School Bash

NASHVILLE – School’s out for the summer, but school isn’t out forever. Are your children up-to-date on their back-to-school vaccinations? Berrien County Health Department wants to make sure every student is ready to begin school and that parents can beat the rush by hosting their back-to-school bash in July.

The bash will be held at the health department July 10-14. Monday, July 10 and Wednesday, July 12, the event will be held from 8AM-5PM. Tuesday, July 11 and Thursday, July 13, the health department will stay open late and the event will be held from 1:30-6:30PM. The last day of the bash will be Friday, July 14 from 8AM-11AM.

“We want to help make sure children are ready to start school in August, but also want to keep parents from having to sit through long waits in the weeks leading up to school,” said Dawn Bowen, BSN, RN, Berrien County Nurse Manager. “Every year, health departments across our district see an influx of immunization appointments in the two weeks prior to school starting back. We understand children and parents don’t want to spend their last days of summer waiting in the health department lobby. We hope our back-to-school bash will help families avoid that last minute rush.”

Immunizations that children may need before starting school include Tdap, the human papillomavirus (HPV) series, chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, MCV4 or other vaccines based on the individual’s vaccine records.

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 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.

Parents are also reminded that 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.

Every child in a Georgia school system (kindergarten-12th grade), attending a childcare 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.

Children over the age of 5 are also eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition to vaccinations, Ear, Eye, Dental and Nutrition screening form (Form 3300) will also be available during the back-to-school bash. Form 3300 is required for all students entering a Georgia school for the first time.

For more information on immunizations visit

To schedule an appointments for the back-to-school bash, call the health department at 229-686-5411. The health department is located at 600 A. South Jefferson Street in Nashville.