Any child entering pre-K or kindergarten must have completed their full series of vaccines.
This includes five doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DtaP), four doses of polio vaccine, three doses of hepatitis B, two measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), and either one dose of the chicken pox vaccine, or a history of having had the chicken pox disease. If your child is over 13 years old, he or she will require two doses of the chicken pox vaccine at least one month apart.
Because these mandatory schedules were phased in at different times, some older children may need certain shots before matriculating.
Before going to the sixth grade, students will need to have documentation of their second MMR, chicken pox vaccine (or history of the disease) and the hepatitis B series. Another checkpoint is before going to high school.
Vaccine documentation must be done on the Georgia Department of Human Resources Form 3231. These forms are available at your health care provider's office or at your local health department.
There is a vaccine that has been available for quite a while, but has now become widely recommended for those who are going off to college. This is the meningococcus vaccine.
Meningococcus is the bacteria responsible for a relatively rare, but deadly form of bacterial meningitis that tends to break out at colleges and other facilities where people live together in close quarters.
Many college campuses are making the vaccine mandatory before matriculation into the student body. Make sure you check with your college's Student Health Center for specific details.
In addition to vaccines, children should get their hearing, vision and dental checks before starting school. It is recommended that this be done yearly, but it is mandatory for pre-K and kindergarten students, and usually also necessary for those students of any age entering a new school. These exams should be documented on Form 3300, also known as the Hearing, Vision and Dental Form.
Dr. Fiona Blair practices with the Sulton Pediatric Group at DeKalb Medical Center at Hillandale.