DeKalb County school officials are reminding parents of children in kindergarten and seventh grade whose shot records are not up to date that those students will not be allowed to attend class after a specified date unless they have the correct immunizations.
Under state law, "No children shall be permitted to attend any public school...until proof of immunization is given the admissions officer of the school". The new Tennessee Department of Health immunization rule went into effect July 1, 2010
School Health Coordinator Dee Anna Reynolds told WJLE Friday that letters are being sent to parents of students who have not yet complied with this law. "Right now we're in the process of notifying parents via letter, if their child's immunization record is not up to date. That is for seventh graders and kindergarten students at DeKalb West, DeKalb Middle, and Smithville Elementary School," said Reynolds.
"The bulk of those immunizations that aren't current and up to date are at the middle school. This comes in with the new Tennessee Department of Health immunization rule that went into effect July 1. That is for children entering seventh grade to have a second varicella shot, which is the chicken pox shot, unless they can show that they have had the chicken pox and they have immunity to the chicken pox, then they don't need to have that second shot. Students also need to have a booster shot called the TDAP immunization (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis vaccine)," said Reynolds
"Students who are not compliant and are receiving their first letter of notification have until September 16 to get compliant to get those immunizations. If not, then those students will not be allowed to come back to school after September 16. A few students have received a first or second letter and those students will have until September 9 to get compliant or they will not be allowed to come back to school after September 9. If you have questions, call the board of education at 597-4084," said Reynolds.
For those who have received a notification letter from the school system of non-compliance, you may obtain the required immunizations free of charge at the DeKalb County Health Department on Thursday, September 8 or Tuesday, September 13 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary.