ALBANY— Southwest Health District encourages parents and guardians to take advantage of flexible summer schedules to get state-required vaccinations for their children now – and avoid the hassle and time-consuming delays that sometimes occur when the back-to-school rush begins.
“The State of Georgia has specific immunization requirements for children entering schools and daycare facilities,” said Rebecca Snow, District Immunization Coordinator for Southwest Health District. “The vaccinations are for the protection of your children, other family members, classmates and staff they come into contact with and the community at large.”
New back-to-school requirements take effect this year, she noted. “Beginning July 1, 2014, all children born on or after January 1, 2002 who are attending seventh grade, and students who are newly enrolled in Georgia schools in grades eight through 12, must have received one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of adolescent meningococcal (meningitis) disease vaccine,” she said.
For information on age-specific vaccines, go to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Immunization web site: http://dph.georgia.gov/schools-and-childcare.
“Vaccinations can be administered by your county health department or by your private healthcare provider,” Snow said. “The important thing to know is that vaccinations are considered to be the most successful and cost-effective public health tools parents can use to help protect their children against dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles, mumps, whooping cough and pneumonia.”