CARTERET COUNTY, NC – While it seems that the school year just ended, the Carteret County Health Department reminds parents of school age and college-bound students not to wait until the last minute for back-to-school immunizations.
The North Carolina General Statutes (G.S. 130A-152(a)) require immunizations for every child present in this state to receive certain immunizations. Every parent, guardian or person in loco parentis is responsible for ensuring that their child(ren) receive required immunizations. It is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to provide a record of these immunizations to the school. Any student who is not age-appropriately vaccinated on the first day of class attendance has 30 calendar days to obtain the required immunizations. Students would be excluded from school if they do not have proper documentation within 30 days of entering school.
“Having all school required vaccines protects your child from harmful infections while protecting your family, their classmates, and the community,” said Kim Davis, nursing director for the Carteret County Health Department. “If families don’t have a regular doctor, the health department has open appointments right now.”
Most vaccines are required when a child enters school for the first time in kindergarten. State law also requires one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of meningococcal vaccine for all rising 7th graders or those who reach 12 years of age whichever comes first. Children 17 years of age or older who are entering the 12th grade, must receive one booster dose of the meningococcal vaccine, unless their initial dose was administered on or after their 16th birthday.
Also, the health department reminds families that state law requires every child entering public schools in N.C. receive a health assessment. The assessment must occur within 12 months prior to entering school and can be provided by your child’s doctor. Parents, guardians, or medical providers must provide a completed health assessment transmittal form to the school on or before the first day of school.
If you have specific questions regarding your child, please contact your child's health care provider or the Carteret County Health Department at 252-728-8550, option 3. You can also refer to the N.C. Immunization Branch website at https://www.immunize.nc.gov/schools/k-12.htm.