On Your Side: New Immunization Requirements for 7th grade studen - WNCN: News, Weather

On Your Side: New Immunization Requirements for 7th grade students

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Some students in Georgia will need a new set of vaccinations before starting classes this fall. All students born on or after January 1, 2002 or entering the 7th grade will be required to get the booster TDAP vaccine and the Meningococcal vaccine.

"We don't want parents to be caught off guard," said Pam Fair with the Columbus Health Department.

Health Officials are letting parents know their 7th grade students will need some additional shots before entering school this fall. The 2 new requirements are the TDAP and Meningococcal vaccines. TDAP protects against tetanus which cause painful muscle tightening, diphtheria which can form a thick coating in the back of your throat, and pertussis or whooping cough. Pertussis causes severe coughing spells which can lead to vomiting and disturbed sleep. The Meningococcal vaccine protects against the meningitis infection. It's a bacterial infection that can make the lining of your brain swell.

"They're very serious diseases and they can kill you. Trying to prevent being sick is just so crucial," said Pam Fair.

The new requirements also apply to students who are transferring into Georgia schools this fall. New entrants from 8th to 12th grade will need to get the 2 vaccines. Health officials are urging parents to get these vaccines for their students as early as possible.

"The longer that you wait closer to the school year to begin, the longer you're going to wait in line to get the actual vaccination," said Pam Fair.

The additional vaccines are required for students at both public and private schools across the state. You can contact your health provider or the health department to find out what vaccines your child already has, and what they still need to get.

For more information on the vaccinations you can visit dph.georgia.gov/immunization-section or www.cdc.gov/vaccines.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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