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High marks for childhood immunizations
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The Effingham County Health Department’s recent assessment of immunization rates revealed that 99 percent of kindergarteners and 99 percent of sixth graders in Effingham County have complied with immunization standards.

The Health Department conducts an annual audit of immunization records for kindergarteners and sixth graders as required by the state. At least 90 percent of students reviewed must have valid certificates of immunization. Any school that fails to comply can be fined.

The ongoing endeavor to ensure that students are properly immunized is a collaborative effort between the Health Department and Effingham County school nurses.

“We are fortunate in Effingham County to have school nurses that are committed to caring for the children while maintaining the highest standard of immunization documentation,” said Cindy Grovenstein, Effingham County Health Department Nurse Manager. “The partnership between the Health Department and our school nurses is excellent and we couldn’t be happier with the current immunization rates.”

The disappearance of many childhood diseases in the United States is the direct result of a successful national immunization program. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) with members from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians meets quarterly to evaluate scientific data and put together a table of recommended immunizations for children and adolescents. The Georgia Department of Human Resources uses these tables as a guideline for determining state immunization requirements for school and childcare programs.

“Healthy communities begin with parents understanding the importance of getting their children immunized,” said Marianne Pappas, immunization coordinator for the Coastal Health District. “When a child becomes ill due to vaccine-preventable diseases, the entire community suffers. The Effingham County Health Department and school system should be commended for understanding the importance of immunizations and working diligently to keep the community healthy.”

For a complete list of kindergarten and sixth grade immunization rates in Effingham County, go to the Coastal Health District Web site at and click on “Immunizations and Vaccinations.”