Health department to host back-to-school vaccination clinic

The Dougherty County Health Dept. is holding a Back-to-School Vaccination Clinic on Saturday

The first day of school is quickly approaching, which not only means getting school supplies but also getting your children vaccinated.

The Dougherty County Health Department is hosting a Back-to-School Vaccination Clinic on Saturday, July 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They hope the time and day make it easier for parents and guardians with hectic schedules make sure their kids meet state requirements and receive their vaccinations, says Immunization Coordinator Suzette Profit.

"We know it's hard sometimes for single parents or working parents to make arrangements during the regular work week, so we are having a weekend clinic to make it more convenient," she says.

Profit noted the clinic can benefit any parent who would like to beat the last-minute back-to-school vaccination rush, which is already picking up she says.

The required vaccines include diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Hib, measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, varicella (chickenpox) and polio.

"The Georgia law requires kids to be vaccinated to stay in school, so it's important that you come out and get your children vaccinated before school starts so you won't risk your children being absent," says Profit.

Profit says there were changes made in 2007 to state law that parents may not be familiar with, including the following:
- Children less than 5 years of age attending child care facilities, Head Start or pre-K to receive pneumococcal vaccine and hepatitis A vaccine or provide serologic proof of immunity
- Children entering kindergarten, sixth grade or new entrants into any grade (K-12) to receive a second dose of mumps vaccine or provide serologic proof of immunity and have a second dose of varicella vaccine or provide proof of serologic immunity or healthcare provider documentation of disease history

Profit says new college students are also invited to attend the clinic and get updated with their meningitis and T-DAP immunizations.