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Elementary schools to offer Tdap immunizations

MADISON – An immunization clinic planned for Madison City Schools will prepare students to enter sixth grade.

All students who are 11 years old and older who will enter the sixth grade in the fall of 2013 are required to have a Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis) vaccine, Bonnie Davis said. Davis, a registered nurse, works as nursing supervisor for Madison City Schools.

“This vaccine has been a requirement for rising sixth-graders since August 2010,” Davis said. A student cannot attend sixth grade in August if a parent hasn’t provided an updated immunization card documenting that the student had Tdap vaccine after age 10.

Madison County Health Department employees will come to elementary schools in the Madison district on March 12-13. On March 12, health department workers will visit Madison, Mill Creek, West Madison and Rainbow elementary schools. On March 13, clinic workers will continue to administer this vaccine at Horizon, Heritage and Columbia elementary schools.

On Feb. 27, teachers will give students printed information to bring home to parents about the Tdap shots. “Please read over this information and return the consent form by Friday, March 8, if you wish for your child to participate in this clinic,” Davis said.

A parent or guardian must complete and sign the consent form to allow a student to receive this vaccine at school. Participation in this school-based clinic is not mandatory.

The vaccine is free but some insurance policies may charge a small administration fee. “There are no out-of-pocket costs,” Davis said.

After students receive the vaccine, employees will enter this information into the Alabama state immunization database (ImmPRINT) for physicians to access.

“By taking advantage of this opportunity, parents can avoid making an appointment at their child’s doctor or the long wait at the health department or paying a co-payment or the fee for an updated immunization card,” Davis said. “Plus, they will avoid the risk of having their child being kept from starting school in August because the lack of compliance with this law.”

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