• Required Immunizations for Rising 7th-Graders and Kindergarten Students

    New immunizations laws are affecting children entering kindergarten and seventh grade for the 2015-16 school year. Children starting kindergarten or seventh grade this fall are required by North Carolina to have specific vaccines to protect them from serious diseases.

    Kindergartners are required to have:
    • two doses of varicella (chicken pox) vaccine if they do not have a history of disease documented by a health care provider;
    • the fourth dose of polio vaccine must be given after 4 years of age and before entering school for the first time;
    • a physical exam signed by their physician.
    Children who start seventh grade this fall are required to have vaccines as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Students are required to have:
    • one dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis);
    • one dose of meningococcal vaccines if they have not previously received these vaccines.
    State law requires the school system to suspend students who haven't received the vaccination after 30 days into the school year.
    The heath department (799 Highland Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC, 27101) offers the vaccination at its walk-in clinics at the following times:
    • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m.-3:45 p.m.
    • Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-6:45 p.m.
    • Friday, 8:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m. 
    Thanks to the success of vaccines we don’t see these diseases very often, but they do still exist and can cause serious illness, disabilities and even death. Don’t let your child go unprotected. Vaccines are safe and effective. The most common side effects are pain and swelling at the site where the shot was given. Some people may experience a headache and fever. Serious reactions to vaccines are very rare.

    Talk with your child’s health care provider or the local health department about vaccines they may need to be protected and for entering school. This is a great chance to get your child to the doctor for a yearly health care visit. Your child will have to provide proof of vaccination on the first day of school. Please remember to bring your child’s shot record for school entry. You can get your child’s shot record from his/her doctor or the local health department.

    For more information please contact the Forsyth County Health Department Immunization Program Manager at 336-703-3314.

    To learn more about these vaccines and the diseases they prevent visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines or the N.C. Immunization Branch website at www.immunize.nc.gov.