Health Dept. Adding New 7th Grade Vaccination Requirement

The Georgia Department of Public Health is announcing new immunization requirements for Georgia students that are entering the 7th grade.

District Two Public Health Spokesman Dave Palmer said that the new requirements will apply to students entering 7th grade beginning next school year.

“Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, 7th graders will be required to have the Tdap, which is tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, all in one shot and the Meningococcal conjugate vaccine prior to entering school,” said Palmer.

Palmer said the new required vaccinations align with the current recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Academy of Family Physicians.

The new requirements will also apply to new entrants into a Georgia school grade 8 through 12 starting next year.

A new entrant means any child entering school in Georgia for the first time or entering having been absent from a Georgia school for more than 12 months or one school year.

Palmer said that the Stephens County Health Department will be at Stephens County Middle School on two occasions over the next couple of months to make those vaccinations available.

Those dates are April 11 and May 5, starting at 8:30 a.m. on both of those days, said Palmer.

He added that parents will have to okay their child to get the vaccinations on one of those dates.

“Permission forms will be sent home with sixth grade students, so parents can sign those and return those back to the school,” said Palmer.

The cost is $21.93 for each vaccine and the Health Department does accept Medicaid, PeachCare, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance, said Palmer.

Palmer said information about the vaccines is also available at Stephens County Middle School, the Stephens County Health Department, or online at