Students get back to school immunizations - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Students get back to school immunizations

August 2, 2005

Lanier County - Six-year-old Jacolby Vallard can't wait to be in the classroom. "I like school!" said Jacolby.

But before he can start school next week, he must be up to date on all his immunizations and health screenings. "It's important that they stay up to date on their immunizations to prevent any disease outbreaks in the school," said Pat Turner, Nurse Manager. "If one student gets sick, it can put the whole country at risk."

Georgia law requires a number of vaccinations before students can begin school. "The 4-year-olds need their D-TAP which is Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertusis, their MMR, and if they haven't had their Hepatitis, we need to make sure they have all of that," said Turner.

Students are also required to have the polio and chickenpox vaccines, and hearing, vision, and dental screenings.

But its not just the little kids who need their immunizations. If you're headed to college, you'll have to endure the shots too. "They have to have two MMR's, a tetanus is recommended but not required at that age," said Turner.

The meningitis vaccine is also recommended, especially for students who'll be living in a dorm. "It's highly contagious and we've had several deaths from people who contracted meningitis and didn't have the vaccine so we're trying to get them vaccinated before they go to college," said Turner.

And while the process may be a little unpleasant, all students must go through it so they can start school healthy and ready to learn.

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