Tennessee students might need these back-to school immunizations

“Back-to-school immunizations are an important part of getting ready for another school year,” the health department said.
Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 3:23 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Parents of Tennessee children enjoying their summer break will soon need to make sure their child is ready for school with up-to-date immunizations, according to the state health department.

‘’We want all children to be safe, healthy, and ready to learn in the classroom as we get ready for another school year,” Tennessee Health Commissioner Ralph Alvarado said in a media release. “Just like school supplies and proper school attire, we know back-to-school immunizations are an important part of getting ready for another school year.”

Here’s what parents need to know, according to the Tennessee Department of Health:

– 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 health care 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 booster shot for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, also called a Tdap booster.

– Immunization requirements for college entry vary by institution, but teens who have had all recommended vaccines including their meningitis booster, after they turn 16, will meet all state-run college’s requirements. Immunizations are available from most health care providers across the state, including county health departments.

The complete list of Tennessee childcare and school immunization requirements can be found on TDH’s website.

Local schools and school districts can provide information about when and how parents should provide immunization certificates, the health department said.