Public Health observes Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week

Published 4:27 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Vaccinating your child today helps ensure they have a healthy tomorrow. That’s the message of Southwest Georgia Public Health, which is joining the Georgi Department of Public Health in recognizing March 11-15, 2019 as Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week. This week serves as a reminder for parents to talk with their preteens and teens about getting immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Every parent wants to protect their child from danger, yet many times parents don’t see vaccination as a priority,” said Dr. Charles Ruis, Health Director for Southwest Health District. “Vaccinating your child is the single best way to protect them from these preventable diseases, so we urge parents to make this a priority.”

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health Rule (511-2-2), the following students are required to have proof of vaccinations protecting them against meningitis AND pertussis (also known as whooping cough)

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all students born on or after January 1, 2002

students entering or transferring into seventh grade and

any “new entrant” into eighth-12th grades in Georgia.

This law affects all public and private schools including, but not limited to, charter schools, community schools, juvenile court schools and other alternative school settings (excluding homeschool).

Ruis said vaccines are the best defense we have against serious, preventable and sometimes deadly contagious diseases. They help avoid expensive therapies and hospitalization needed to treat infectious diseases like influenza and meningitis. Immunizations also reduce absences both at school and after school activities and decrease the spread of illness at home, school and the community.