Tennessee 7th Graders Need Booster Shots Before School Starts - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee 7th Graders Need Booster Shots Before School Starts

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By Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Incoming 7th grade students in Tennessee have certain health requirements they need to fill before the first day of school.

In Nashville, the first day of school is less than a week away. This is the third year incoming 7th graders have had to fulfill immunization requirements.

"Not only do they have to have the immunizations, they actually have to come with the approved, official certificate from the state," said Olivia Brown with Metro Nashville Public Schools.

During the first two years of the new requirements, more than half of Metro Nashville's 7,000 7th graders did not have their immunizations, or the proper documentation showing they received them.

Students are required to have their tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster, and a varicella booster, or proof they have had chickenpox.

"We will offer them tomorrow, we will offer them all of next week and the week after," said Brian Todd with the Metro Public Health Department.

Todd said if students do not have health insurance they can get the required shots at the department's health clinics.

This year, as an extra incentive to get the required immunizations, the Health Department is offering free backpacks to students.

"That's one less thing you'll have to put on your shopping list. We'll offer a few supplies to go in the backpack, just to help a child get started and be ready school," Todd said.

Told also said it is important for 7th graders to visit their primary care provider for a complete physical because their bodies are rapidly changing at that age.

email: ccannon@newschannel5.com


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