Moore County parents working on checklists to get their children ready for the start of school have an important health item to include: required immunizations.
In Tennessee, children enrolling in school for the first time and all children going into seventh grade must provide schools with a state immunization certificate before classes start as proof they have had immunizations necessary to protect them and their classmates from serious vaccine-preventable diseases.
The first full day of classes in Moore County is Aug. 6 and students must provide immunization proof by that date, according to Director of Schools Chad Moorehead.
Most insurance plans, including TennCare, fully cover recommended and state-required childhood vaccines, as well as the cost of annual well child examinations through the age of 21.
Insured children are encouraged to visit their primary healthcare provider or other provider who can administer vaccines and bill insurance for any services they might need.
Local health departments have vaccines available for all uninsured children, those whose insurance doesn’t cover vaccines, and any child who has difficulty getting in to see a healthcare provider to get a required vaccine. Local health departments can issue immunization certificates and transcribe immunization records for any child if the family isn’t able to get a certificate from their healthcare provider for any reason.
The Moore County Health Department is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday and closed from 12-1 p.m. for lunch. The office is located at 251 Majors Blvd. in Lynchburg. To make an appointment, call 759-4251.
It is important to note that certain important vaccines are recommended, but not required, for pre-teens and teens, and that most teens are missing at least one vaccine recommended to protect their health.
These include a vaccine against certain types of meningitis and the HPV vaccine against viruses that cause cervical cancer in women and other cancers in men. Many teens have missed out on getting a second dose of chickenpox vaccine or the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis booster shot (Tdap), both of which are now required for seventh graders.
The complete list of Tennessee Child Care and School Immunization requirements is available on the TDH website at: http://health.state.tn.us/TWIS/requirements.htm.
Questions about school policies on when or how immunization certificates must be provided should be directed to local schools. For more information, contact Lynchburg Elementary at 759-7111 and Moore County Middle School at 759-6395.