Tennessee health officials are reminding parents to ensure their child’s immunizations are up-to-date before school starts.
Kindergartners and students enrolling in a state school district for the first time must provide schools with a complete, official Tennessee Immunization Certificate before classes start. The certificate must be signed by a qualified healthcare provider or verified by the state’s Immunization Information System.
All current students starting the seventh grade are also required to give their school a limited official Tennessee Immunization Certificate showing they have had a booster shot for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also known as a Tdap booster.
Schools start in Hardin County on Monday, Aug. 7, and nurse supervisor for the county’s health department Dale Reynolds said immunizations are vital for a successful school experience.
“Making sure children in our county are up-to-date on their immunizations is an important way to keep them healthy and ready to learn for the upcoming school year,” Reynolds said.
Immunization requirements for college vary by school, but teens who have all recommended vaccines, including their meningitis booster after they turn 16, will meet all state-run college’s requirements.
Immunizations are available from most health care providers across the state, including county health departments.
According to Lifespan, not the health department, TennCare does not cover the cost of immunizations, but there is a program called Vaccines for Children (VFC) that funds vaccinations for children that don’t have immunization coverage. Information about the VFC program, including how to apply is available online at cdc.gov.