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Health departments urge back-to-school immunizations

POSTED: June 19, 2014 8:08 p.m.

Students will be going back to school in less than two months and health department officials in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties are encouraging parents to be proactive about getting required immunizations for children.

A complete summary of Georgia immunization requirements can be found by going to www.gachd.org and clicking on the Immunizations and Vaccinations link under the Quick Links menu on the home page.

A new requirement this year involves seventh-graders. Effective July 1, 2014, children born on or after Jan. 1, 2002 who are attending seventh grade and new entrants into Georgia schools in grades eight-12 must have received one dose of the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine and one dose of meningococcal (meningitis) vaccine. (“New entrant” means any child entering any school in Georgia for the first time or entering after having been absent from a Georgia school for more than 12 months or one school year).

Another significant change involves the addition of a nutrition category to the vision, hearing, and dental form (form 3300). The nutrition category measures height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). The completed form must be presented to school authorities for children entering a Georgia school for the first time.

“We want students to be ready when that first bell rings in the new school year,” said Dr. Diane Weems, district health director for the Coastal Health District. “By getting students immunized now and not waiting until the last minute, parents can check off one very important task on the back-to-school list.”

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