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North Central Health District

COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTS

Protect Your Family by Getting Immunized

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The month of August is about bringing awareness to immunizations, and North Central Health District (NCHD) wants all district residents to think ahead and get the required school vaccinations.

  National Immunization Awareness Month serves as a reminder that people of all ages require timely vaccinations to protect their health.

“Vaccinations are our best defense against vaccine-preventable diseases, such as chickenpox, measles, and whooping cough,” said Judy McChargue, NCHD Immunization Coordinator. “During this month, we urge all parents to make sure all family members are up-to-date on their vaccinations.”

This year, each week of National Immunization Awareness Month focuses on the different stages of a person’s life to remind everyone that vaccination doesn’t end at adulthood:

  • Babies and young children (Aug. 12­–18)
  • Pregnant women (Aug. 5–11)
  • Adults (Aug. 26–31)
  • Preteens/Teens (Aug. 19–25)
  • Back to School (Month-long)

Every adult in Georgia (19 years of age and older) should follow the recommended immunization schedule by Age and Medical Condition. Vaccinations protect you and they protect others around you; especially infants and those individuals who are unable to be immunized or who have weakened immune systems. It is always a good idea to have the adult vaccine schedule nearby as a reference and to make sure you are current on your immunizations. Schedules of recommended immunizations can be found at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules.

Vaccines protect families, teens and children by preventing disease. They help avoid expensive therapies and hospitalization needed to treat infectious diseases like influenza and pneumococcal disease. Vaccinations also reduce absences both at work and at school and decrease the spread of illness in the home, workplace and community.

Students born on or after January 1, 2002 and entering the seventh grade need proof of an adolescent pertussis (whooping cough) booster and adolescent meningococcal vaccinations. Every child in a Georgia school system (Kindergarten through 12th grade), attending a child care facility or a new student of any age enter a Georgia School for the first time is required by law to have a Georgia Immunization Certificate, Form 3231. The following immunizations are required for child care and school attendance:

•        Diphtheria

•        Tetanus

•        Pertussis

•        Polio

•        Measles

•        PCV13 (up to age 5 years)

•        Mumps

•        Rubella

•        Hepatitis A and B

•        Hib disease (up to age 5 years)

•        Varicella

•        Meningococcal Conjugate

Some schools, colleges and universities have policies requiring vaccination against meningococcal disease as a condition of enrollment. Students aged 21 years or younger should have documentation of receipt of a dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine not more than five years before enrollment. If the primary dose was administered before their 16th birthday, a booster dose should be administered before enrollment in college.

“The focus of vaccinations often lies on young children, but it’s just as important for teens, college students and adults to stay current on their vaccinations,” said Shelia Lovett, Director of the Immunization Program of the Georgia Department of Public Health.

NCHD reminds adults to check with their healthcare provider for their current vaccination recommendations, and to check the recommendation for their children. Safe and effective vaccines are available to protect adults and children alike against potentially life-threatening diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, shingles, measles, mumps and more. Talk to your healthcare provider or visit you local health department to get immunized today.

For more information on immunization, visit dph.georgia.gov/immunization-section.

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