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Immunizations

Immunizations for children, teens and adults—including COVID-19 vaccines and annual flu shots—are available at District 4’s county health departments. We can help you determine the recommended vaccines you or your child needs and provide required immunization forms for attending school in Georgia.

Immunizations are the safest way to protect you, your children, and community from a long list of serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. In the last 50 years, vaccines have helped to nearly wipe out diseases that once caused death and disabilities, such as measles, diphtheria, and polio.

Recommended Child/Teen Immunizations

Immunizations keep children safe from 16 diseases that once struck routinely, causing serious illness and even death. Your child’s doctor or county health department can guide you in getting your child the recommended vaccines at the right time.

BIRTH – 24 MONTHS
Children should get their first doses of most vaccines before they reach 2 years old, and they will then receive additional doses of some vaccines as they grow older to reach full protection.  Your child’s doctor or county health department gives these immunizations during 10 well-child check-ups between 0 and 24 months old. Vaccine Schedule

AGES 4 – 6
Before entering elementary school, children should receive an additional dose of several vaccines already given to them as infants. Staying up to date with immunizations helps protect them from diseases as they begin interacting with more kids.Vaccine Schedule

AGES 7 – 18
Certain vaccines are recommended during the pre-teen and teenage years—especially around ages 11-12 and at 16—as childhood vaccines begin to wear off.  As kids get older, they also become more at risk for catching other serious diseases, like meningococcal meningitis. Vaccine Schedule

School Immunization and Screening Requirements

All students enrolled in a Georgia public or private childcare facility, pre-kindergarten, Head Start program, nursery, or school (from birth to twelfth grade) must be protected against certain vaccine-preventable diseases.  Your local county health department can provide your child with all required immunizations and health screenings (vision, hearing, dental and nutrition). Our health departments also can provide you with the required immunization and health screening forms you must submit when enrolling your child in a school for the first time or then when your child’s immunizations are updated. (See School Immunization Requirements for Georgia students.)

SEVENTH-GRADE REQUIREMENTS
Seventh-grade students—or students entering a Georgia school for the first time in grades 8 through 12—must have received one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of meningococcal vaccine. They will need to provide their school with an updated Georgia Certificate of Immunization Form 3231. Although it is not required to attend school in Georgia, the HPV vaccine is recommended to both boys and girls at ages 11-12 (but can be given as early as 9) to protect against cancers and other diseases caused by human papillomavirus. A second dose of HPV vaccine should be received 6 to 12 months after the first dose.

ELEVENTH-GRADE REQUIREMENTS
Children 16 years of age and older who are entering the eleventh grade (and first-time students in the twelfth grade) must have received one booster dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), unless their initial dose was administered on or after their 16th birthday. They will need to provide an updated Georgia Certificate of Immunization Form 3231 to their school. MCV4 helps prevent meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection that can be very dangerous.

 

College Students

All colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia system have minimum immunization requirements and recommendations established by the Georgia Board of Regents. Some of these institutions may require additional immunizations.  Students enrolling for the first time at any public or private college or university should check with their school for specific requirements and recommendations.

Recommended Adult Immunizations

Adults need to keep their vaccinations up to date because childhood vaccines can wear off over time. You also can become at risk for different diseases as an adult. Older adults with medical conditions and weak immune systems are more vulnerable to infections. Immunizations and boosters help prevent getting and spreading serious diseases that could result in poor health, missed work, medical bills, and not being able to care for family.

Your doctor or county health department can help determine what immunizations you need by reviewing your age, medical and immunization history, lifestyle, travel plans and other factors. District 4’s county health department offers adults all the appropriate vaccines needed to protect yourself against disease.

Visit the CDC for more information on recommended adult vaccines.

Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant, talk with your doctor or county health department to see what vaccines you may need and whether you should get them before, during or after your pregnancy.

It is recommended to be up to date with a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine at least one month before becoming pregnant.  In addition, the Tdap vaccine is recommended during each pregnancy, ideally in the third trimester between 27 and 36 weeks, regardless of  when you had your last Tdap or Td vaccination. Read more about vaccines and pregnancy.

Travel

If you are traveling internationally, it is important to consult with your doctor’s office or local health department to learn about recommended or required vaccines for your destination. District 4’s Travel Health program is available at health departments in Carroll, Coweta, Fayette, Henry, Pike and Upson counties and is open to anyone planning on traveling to another country. Fees vary depending on the vaccines needed. Visit our Travel Health page for more information.

Immunization Records

You can obtain a copy of you or your child’s Georgia immunization records at your local health department. You also can request a copy at no cost through the Georgia Immunization Registry (GRITS). Your or your child’s doctor may also be able to provide you a copy. More information on vaccine records can be found here.