Students must have all their shots to attend school

Students must have all their shots to attend school

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Summer vacation is almost over, and school starts soon. The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) wants to make sure immunizations are current, because vaccinations required for school age children.

"Immunizations are the best way to fight vaccine-preventable diseases," said Norma Jean Johnson, RN, county nurse manager. "Our goal is more than to keep our children healthy, it's also to protect them and those around them from vaccine-preventable diseases."

Students born on or after January 1, 2002 and entering the seventh-grade need proof of an adolescent pertussis (whooping cough) booster and adolescent meningococcal vaccinations. Every child in a Georgia school system (kindergarten-12th grade), attending a child care 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.

Every adult in Georgia (19 years and older) should follow the recommended immunization schedule by age and medical condition.  The most up-to-date adult vaccine schedule can be found on The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website at

Vaccines protect families, teens and children by preventing diseases. "They help avoid expensive therapies and hospitalization needed to treat infectious diseases like influenza and pneumococcal disease," says Johnson. "They also reduce absences both at school and at work and decrease the spread of illness in the home, workplace and community."

This August, be smart and get immunized. DPH reminds adults to check with their healthcare provider for their current immunization recommendations as well as parents to check for their children. For more information call Lowndes County Health Department at 229-333-5257 or visit

Copyright  2015 WALB.  All rights reserved.