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Troup County Health Department: Get required vaccinations now

Matthew Strother

mstrother@civitasmedia.com

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LaGRANGE — Registration for the Troup County School System starts July 29, but Troup County Health Department officials want to remind parents that students can’t register without proper vaccination documentation.

“It’s required by Georgia law, whether it’s for children starting school or daycare, or going back to school,” said TiShari McFarland, public health educator at the local health department. “Just last year new vaccines were required for seventh graders, which many people don’t know.”

The newer state laws for students entering seventh grade require children born on or after Jan. 1, 2002, and students who are newly enrolled in Georgia schools in grade 8 through 12 to receive one dose of Tdap – tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis – vaccine and one dose of adolescent meningococcal – meningitis – vaccine, according to information provided by the health department.

The health department also provides immunization records needed for registration. Information about what immunizations are required by the state for different school grade levels is available at the health department’s website at www.troupcohealth.org by selecting the Immunizations link under the Clinical Services tab at the top of the page.

McFarland encouraged parents to bring children in to the Troup County Health Department, 900 Dallis St., now in order to avoid the rush that typically occurs right before school registration begins.

“Now is a good time to come in because we’re not as busy, and (students) have to have (the vaccines) anyway,” she said.

Beyond school requirements, McFarland said that having children vaccinated is the best way for parents to protect them from serious and life-threatening diseases. In recent years there has been a re-emergence of diseases potentially deadly to children, like measles, mumps and pertussis – commonly called whooping cough – which had been almost eradicated with vaccines.

A decrease in vaccines also has resulted in more cases of flu, pneumonia and meningitis, McFarland said. Much of the change came from unfounded claims of vaccines causing autism or other complications in otherwise healthy children.

Some people have legitimate reasons not to be vaccinated, McFarland noted, due to medical conditions, or may refuse on the grounds of religious beliefs. Those people still have to get documentation that they are waiving vaccinations, she said.

Adults also may receive vaccinations like the flu shot at the health department, McFarland said.

Immunizations also are available through most doctors’ offices. Prices depend on an individual’s insurance.

High School registration for Troup County schools is July 28 and 29, elementary is Aug. 5 and middle is Aug. 6. Classes begin Aug. 10.

More information is available at www.troupcohealth.org or by calling the health department at 706-845-4085. Troup County Health Department is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

MORE INFORMATION

Information about what immunizations are required by the state for different school grade levels is available at the health department’s website at www.troupcohealth.org by selecting the Immunizations link under the Clinical Services tab at the top of the page. Residents also may call the health department at 706-845-4085. It is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Matthew Strother is editor of LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2153.