Back to school means time for shots

by Celia Shortt

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Denise Dasher gives 5-year-old Jonathan “JW” Hemmings a needed immunization at the Coweta County Health Department while his mom, Britney Hawkins, holds him. He will be starting kindergarten in August at Arnco-Sargent Elementary. 


With just over a week until the start of school in Coweta, parents may need to schedule immunization appointments for their children.

Two new immunizations are required for new and returning students in Georgia.

Both the Tdap and Meningitis vaccines are now required for students who were born after Jan. 1, 2002, and are entering seventh grade or are a new Georgia student.

A new entrant is a student entering any school in Georgia for the first time or one who is entering after being absent from a Georgia school for more than 12 months or one school year.

Dana Scales, nurse manager for the Coweta County Health Department in Newnan, said both these vaccines are usually administered around age 11 to 12, “which is why we’re focusing on those.”

To get both these vaccines and the others required for school, parents can see their private physician or bring their kids to the Coweta County Health Department at 70 Hospital Road in Newnan. Hours are 8 a.m to 5 p.m. To make an appointment at the health department or for more information, call 770-254-7400.

“Appointments for back to school needs are highly encouraged,” said Scales. “Fridays we do accept walk-ins, however, the wait time is heavily dependent upon the volume of clients being seen that day for the same or other services.”

For those who are new to Georgia and coming to the health department for school immunizations, they must bring documentation of all the prior immunizations their child or children have received to date.

The health department can also perform the hearing, vision, and dental screenings children need to register for school.

After the screening and/immunization, the health department will provide the parents with the necessary certificates for school registration – a 3231 immunization certificate and/or a 3300 hearing, vision, dental certificate. A child’s private physician can also perform these back to school needs.

Students transferring from another school in Georgia should have the necessary certificates from their previous schools. If time is needed to obtain those certificates, parents can request short-term waivers during registration. However, children whose parents who do not file the certificates by the end of the waiver period may be withdrawn from school.

Standard immunization requirements for students in Pre-K - 12th grade:

• Hepatitis A – two doses

• Hepatitis B – three doses

• MMR – two doses

• VZV (chickenpox) – two doses

• Pneumonia – up to age five

• HIB–up to age five

• Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, and Polio given after fourth birthday

• Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, and Meningitis after 11th birthday.

The Coweta County School System begins its year Aug. 6. For information on school registration call the school system’s Central Registration Office at 770-254-5551.



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