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Back to School Vaccinations

Classrooms will be opening back soon. Currently enjoying their summer break – swimming, going to camps, or just spending time outside – the reality of walking back into the school building will soon set in.

Now is a good time parents can make sure their children are ready for back-to-school with up-to-date immunizations. Just like school supplies, back-to-school immunizations are an important part of getting ready for another school year.

Here are the requirements for vaccinations in Tennessee from the Department of Health:

• Kindergarteners and other children enrolling in a Tennessee school for the first time must provide schools with a complete, official Tennessee Immunization Certificate before classes begin. The certificate must be signed by a qualified health care provider or verified by the state’s Immunization Information System.

• All current students entering seventh grade are required to give the school a limited official Tennessee Immunization Certificate showing they have had a booster shot for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, also called a Tdap booster.

• Immunization requirements for college entry vary by institution, but teens who have had 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. If parents have concerns, they can discuss them with their child’s provider.

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