Time for school vaccinations
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NASHVILLE- Another school year will soon begin for many students in Tennessee and now is the time to make sure they receive the required immunizations for school attendance.

''Vaccines are critical protection for our own children and help keep other kids around them safe from many diseases,'' said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. "Please make sure you and yours have the vaccines you need."

Requirements for school vaccinations in Tennessee:

• Kindergarteners and other children enrolling in a Tennessee school for the first time must provide schools with a complete Official Tennessee Immunization Certificate before classes begin. The certificate must be signed by a qualified healthcare provider or verified by the state's Immunization Information System.

• All current students entering seventh grade are required to give the school a limited Official Tennessee Immunization Certificate showing they have had a second dose of chickenpox vaccine (or a history of the illness) and a booster shot for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. The HPV cancer vaccine and first meningococcal meningitis vaccine are also recommended, but not required for school, for this age group.

• Incoming college students in Tennessee public colleges who will live in on-campus housing must provide proof of immunization against meningococcal meningitis after age 16. Most private colleges also have requirements for this vaccine and some schools require it of all new students. Check with your college for details.

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