April 19, 2023
It’s not to early to schedule back-to-school immunizations
Though it may be too early to buy new pencils and paper for the next school year, spring is a great time to schedule back-to-school immunizations and health screenings at your local health department.
“Our health departments tend to be incredibly busy right before school starts, and during that time, it can be very hard to book an appointment,” said Amy Fenn, District 4’s Director of Nursing. “We’re hoping that parents and caregivers will consider going ahead and making appointments early to avoid the ‘back-to-school scramble.’”
Appointments are required. To make an appointment, call (800) 847-4262. Several District 4 county health departments also will hold special school immunization and screening clinics throughout the summer, including:
Fayette County Health Department
Wednesday, July 12
8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Heard County Health Department
Thursday, July 13
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Spalding County Health Department
Friday, July 28
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(also accepting walk-ins on this day)
Upson County Health Department
Monday, July 31
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Georgia law requires children attending a nursery, childcare facility, pre-kindergarten, Head Start program, or public or private school (kindergarten – 12th grade) to be protected from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. (See Immunization Requirements for Georgia Child Care and School Attendance.) District 4 health departments offer the vaccines as well as the three key documents a student must have on file when enrolling in a Georgia school for the first time:
- Georgia Immunization Certificate (Form 3231): If your child will be attending a Georgia public or private school for the first time, your local health department or physician’s office can let you know the specific immunizations your child needs. They will then provide you with a completed Form 3231 after administering the appropriate vaccines to your child. If your child has received vaccines in another state, you may need to bring proper documentation from that state. “First-time” students not only are those entering childcare, pre-K, kindergarten, etc., but also refers to older students who are attending school in Georgia for the first time (or who have been absent from a Georgia school for more than 12 months or one school year).
- Georgia Certificate of Vision, Hearing, Dental, and Nutrition Screening (Form 3300): All children enrolled in a pre-kindergarten program or public school must have this certificate on file at their school. Your local health department or physician can conduct these screenings and complete this form.
- Certified Birth Certificate: You also will need to provide your child’s school with a proof of birth date. If your child was born in any county in Georgia, you can obtain a certified copy of their birth certificate at District 4’s Vital Records Offices at our health departments in Carroll, Meriwether, Spalding, Troup, and Upson counties. You will need to show your Georgia driver’s license or state identification card, and either parent may pick up certificates.
Parents of rising seventh-graders and 11th-graders will need to make sure their child has received the following vaccines so they may submit the required updated Form 3231 to their child’s school:
- Rising Seventh-Grader Immunizations: Children born on or after January 1, 2002, who are 1) attending seventh grade or 2) “first-time” students enrolling in Georgia schools in grades 8 through 12 must have received one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of meningococcal vaccine. (A “first-time” student means any child entering any school in Georgia for the first time or entering after having been absent from a Georgia school for more than 12 months or one school year.)
- Rising Eleventh-Grader Immunizations: Effective July 1, 2021, children 16 years of age and older who are entering the 11th grade (including “first-time” students) must have received one booster dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), unless their initial dose was administered on or after their 16th birthday. MCV4 helps prevent meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection that can be very dangerous.
The HPV vaccine is also recommended for both girls and boys at ages 11–12 to protect against cancers and other diseases caused by human papillomavirus. The second dose of HPV should be received 6-12 months after the first dose.
For more information, visit dph.ga.gov/schoolvaccines
To schedule immunizations or health screenings at any District 4 county health department, please call (800) 847-4262.
Fees for immunizations and screenings will vary. Payments for health services or birth certificates may be made by cash, MasterCard, or Visa. Medicaid covers vision and hearing screenings and immunizations, and we accept most insurance plans. For more information, please call (800) 847-4262.
MEDIA CONTACT: Natalie Shelton (706) 302-6707