NORTH CAROLINA - Hundreds of sixth grade students in each state school district face suspension Wednesday, if they do not receive the TDAP booster vaccine by the Tuesday deadline.
A North Carolina law passed in 2008 requires all sixth grade students who have not had a TDAP vaccine in five years to receive a booster by the start of the school year. The law specifies students who have not provided documentation of the vaccine must be excluded from school 30 calendar days after the start of the new school year. That 30-day period ends Wednesday.
Suspensions will last until students can provide documentation of receiving the vaccine. Appointment cards do not count.
According to Guilford County Schools, as of Friday, 666 sixth grade students in the district had yet to be vaccinated. According to Forsyth County Schools, approximately 700 students in the district had yet to be vaccinated.
GCS director of school health services Robin Bergeron-Nolan said 125 students were suspended last year when they did not get the TDAP booster by the required deadline. She said typically, most of the suspended students will get the vaccine within the first week past the deadline.
Bergeron-Nolan explained that school social workers will work with staff and parents to help find transportation if they need it. She said said once students get the vaccine and bring vaccine documentation to school, they will be admitted.
The school districts and health departments advise that students do not wait until the last minute Tuesday to get the vaccine. They are encouraged to make appointments Monday.
Wednesday, the Guilford County Department of Public Health is offering a walk-in Tdap clinic for 6th grade Tdap vaccinations only! Clinic hours will be 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at both Public Health clinic locations (1100 E. Wendover Avenue in Greensboro and 501 E. Green Drive in High Point).
Parents are to bring the child's immunization (shot) record and insurance card with them. No appointments will be made, all vaccines will be given on a walk-in basis.
WFMY News 2