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Back-to-school vaccines recommended for everyone | Families

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Back-to-school vaccines recommended for everyone
Families, Health, Schools
Back-to-school vaccines recommended for everyone

MARIETTA, Ga. -- In light of new vaccine recommendations, parents should make sure their children receive the required shots before returning to school in the coming weeks.

According to Cobb & Douglas Public Health officials, this year's requirements are a little different and affect nearly every age group.

"We want to ensure that every student, whether just starting elementary school or entering college, is fully protected," said Karen Thomas, district immunization director for Cobb & Douglas Public Health.

As always, children entering kindergarten and students who are new to Georgia schools need an Immunization Certificate, Georgia Form 3231 and a Dental, Vision and Hearing Form 3200.

Students entering sixth grade need two doses of chicken pox vaccine if they have not already had chicken pox, plus two doses of MMR.

The meningitis vaccine booster has been added for 15- to 19-year-olds for the 2011-12 school year. It was included after data suggested that protection provided by the initial meningitis vaccine only lasts about five years, as opposed to the previously-thought 10 years.

According to Thomas, there is more than one way parents can ensure that their children are properly protected.

"We encourage parents to bring students in before the back-to-school rush," she said. "After getting children vaccinated, we suggest that parents also check with their physician or visit local public health clinic to see if they are in need of hepatitis A or hepatitis B vaccine."

For more information on back-to-school vaccines, call Cobb & Douglas Public Health at 770-514-2349.

Families, Health, Schools