FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
To ensure that students attending North Carolina public schools have received proper immunizations, important timelines have been established by the state Commission for Health Services and published in the North Carolina Administration Code (NCAC). North Carolina General Statute (GS) 130A-152 authorizes the Commission to establish these timelines. Parents are encouraged to review their children’s immunizations to be certain that their children are in accordance with the legal requirements.
Vaccinations required for kindergarten include the following: five doses of Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, four doses of Polio, two doses of Measles, two doses of Mumps, one dose of Rubella, four doses of Haemophilus Influenzae type B (Hib), three doses of Hepatitis B (Hep B), and one dose of Varicella (chickenpox).
Before entering 6th grade, children attending North Carolina public schools are required to have a booster dose of the Tdap (tetanus/ diphtheria/ pertussis) vaccine, if it has been five years or more since they were given a dose of tetanus-containing vaccine.
Megan Unrue, Edgecombe County School Health Coordinator, offers the following advice: “Parents and guardians are advised to contact their local health care provider for more information concerning any immunizations. They should also make sure that the immunization records contain the dates and the specific immunizations.” Unrue encourages parents of sixth-grade students to bring a new immunization record to the school after their children have received the Tdap vaccination.
Every parent or guardian has the responsibility to ensure that the child has received the required immunization at the age required by law. According to the NCAC, a parent or guardian must provide to the school his or her child’s immunization record within 30 days that the child enters school. After this time period, the child will be suspended from school until a valid immunization record is provided to the school.
“Sept. 24 is the final day for sixth-grade students to get immunized,” says Shawna Andrews, Director of Middle Schools for Edgecombe County Public Schools. “Our principals have been making calls and sending letters to keep our families informed.”
“Students in Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten should submit documentation of current immunizations within 30 calendar days of their enrollment in school,” states Paula Flythe, Director of Elementary Schools for Edgecombe County Public Schools. “When students do not have current and appropriate immunization records by the thirtieth calendar day following enrollment they are asked not to return to school until these documents are in place. School administrators and counselors are working with families to ensure that all students have the necessary immunizations and documentation.”