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Combating Disease and Absenteeism: Clayton Co. Merges Vaccines With School Enrollment

December 13, 2013

Originally published Aug. 15, 2011

Monique Edward brought her 5-year-old son, Zechariah, to the CCBOH Immunization Clinic to receive his required vaccinations and paperwork to enroll in Clayton County Public Schools. Clayton County public health nurses have vaccinated nearly a hundred children since the start of the back-to-school drive. A total of 1,327 patients visited the clinic and 1,665 vaccinations were administered as of Aug. 9. With the extended hours, Monique Edward avoided long waits at the health department or delays in getting an appointment with Zechariah’s pediatrician.August is National Immunization Awareness Month and it is also the time when parents are preparing back-to-school schedules for the new school year. The Clayton County Board of Health (CCBOH), Health District 3-3, has encouraged parents to get an early start on school required vaccinations.

“From a public health standpoint, it is imperative that children are current on age-appropriate immunizations in order to decrease vaccine preventable diseases that can cause mild to severe illnesses such as influenza, meningitis, pneumonia, and seizures,” said Dr. Alpha Fowler Bryan, Clayton County District Health Director. “These diseases can lead to long-term disabilities, hearing loss, blindness, paralysis, and even death. Healthy children are more likely to stay in school and achieve higher grades because the risk of absenteeism from illness has been decreased.”

Parents coming to the clinic have been advised that:

  • Children between the ages of four and six who are entering Head Start, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten programs will need a completed, state-mandated eye, ear, and dental screening certificate (Form 3300) and immunization certificate (Form 3231) for enrollment.
  • Children entering sixth grade are required to get a second dose of Varicella (Chicken Pox) vaccination and an updated 3231 immunization certificate.
  • Children enrolling in school for the first time will need eye, ear, and dental screenings, immunization updates, and completed 3300 and 3231 certificates.

During National Immunization Awareness Month, the CCBOH encourages all citizens to stay current with their vaccinations. Not getting vaccinated puts others at risk for preventable diseases, especially infants and people with suppressed immune systems, such as cancer patients and those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The CCBOH Immunization Clinic is open to the public and offers many of the most necessary immunizations for children, adults, and travelers.

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