New meningitis vaccine requirements for high school students

Close-up medical syringe with a vaccine.

(Gainesville) – State public health officials are reminding parents about new vaccine requirements for rising high school juniors.

Before starting the 2020-2021 school year, all students entering or transferring into eleventh grade will need proof of a meningococcal booster shot (MCV4), unless their first dose was received on or after their 16th birthday.

Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection of the brain and spinal cord fluid. Meningitis can cause shock, coma, and death within a few hours of the first symptoms.

If your teen has not been vaccinated against meningococcal disease, public health strongly encourages you to do so now. Getting the MCV4 vaccine now will help protect your child against the ongoing threat of meningitis and meet the new school requirement.

Ask your pediatrician or local health department about other immunizations that your child may need. If your child does not have insurance or their health plan does not cover these vaccines, ask your local health department about options for no cost or low-cost vaccines.

Visit www.phdistrict2.org for your local health department information.

For more information about vaccines, visit http://dph.georgia.gov/vaccines-children or call 1-800-848-3868.

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