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Parents, guardians encouraged to immunize children before school starts


The Cumberland County Department of Public Health is reminding parents and guardians about the importance of getting their children immunized before the start of  school. Immunizations are available for all youths including children entering kindergarten and teens entering grades seven and 12 in the fall, according to a news release.

“We often have long wait times for immunizations once school starts,” said Public Health Director Jennifer Green. “We’re encouraging all parents and guardians to get their students caught up with their immunizations over the summer before the school year starts.” 

The Health Department will host a Saturday back-to-school clinic from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15 at the Public Health Center, 1235 Ramsey St. in Fayetteville. Immunizations will also be available until 7 p.m. during late clinics on July 11 and Aug. 8., the release said.

COVID-19 vaccinations will be available for children and teenagers. No appointments are needed, and services are available by walk-in only. All students in grades kindergarten through 12 who get vaccinated by Aug. 31 will receive a swag bag of goodies, the release said.

Required vaccinations

All students entering grade seven are required to obtain a Tdap and meningococcal conjugate vaccine before starting school, the release said. As of Aug. 1, 2020, a booster dose to protect against meningococcal disease is required for adolescents entering the 12th grade or by age 17, whichever comes first. Learn more here (Spanish language flier here).

A full list of immunizations required before entering kindergarten, seventh  grade, and 12th grade, as required by state law, can be found on the Cumberland County Schools website.

Those who are 18 or younger and do not have health insurance or whose health insurance does not cover immunizations can receive immunizations at no cost through the Vaccines for Children Program.

Bring an ID card, a copy of your insurance card and your immunization records, if available.

Anyone who needs transportation to the Health Department for a walk-in visit to the immunizations clinic should call 910-433-3600.

In accordance with state law, parents and caregivers have 30 calendar days from the first day of attendance to present the required immunization record and health assessment form for the child, the release said. After 30 calendar days, students will not be allowed to attend school until the required immunization and health forms have been presented.

Those who cannot attend one of the immunization clinics can get their required immunizations from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Public Health Center.

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Cumberland County, public health, vaccination clinics, back-to-school, immunizations