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Back to School Immunizations Required By Law for Kindergarteners and 7th Graders

NC law requires certain immunizations within first 30 calendar days to avoid suspension

Post Date:08/01/2017

    DURHAM, N.C. – Every August parents of kindergarteners and 7th graders should add immunizations to their back to school checklist.  Although year-round schools are back in session, the traditional school year starts August 28.  North Carolina General Statutes (G.S. 130A-152(a)) requires students to have recommended vaccines within the first 30 days of the school year to avoid suspension.  Upon termination of 30 calendar days the principal shall not permit the child(ren) to attend school or facility unless the required immunization has been obtained.

    Durham County parents with students on the traditional school year calendar have until Thursday, September 28, to meet those requirements.  All students entering 7th grade or who are 12 years of age are mandated to have meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) and Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) - Tdap vaccines. 

    “We offer a couple options to assist Durham County parents with getting their children the required immunizations,” said Gayle Harris, director, Durham County Department of Public Health (DCoDPH).  “Parents can bring their children to the Immunization Clinic during regular business hours or use our Healthy Futures program located in E.K. Powe, George Watts, Glenn, Merrick-Moore, and Oak Grove Elementary Schools as a great alternative for parents who would prefer to accompany their children to receive their immunizations in a school setting.  The goal is to provide access and opportunities for each child to receive their shots and avoid suspension.”

    Kindergarten students are mandated to have:

    • Diphtheria                  
    • Tetanus
    • Pertussis
    • Polio
    • Measles
    • Mumps
    • Rubella
    • Haemophilus influenza type B
    • Hepatitis B
    • Varicella.

    The DCoDPH offers those vaccines Monday through Friday, 8:30AM-5PM at the Human Services Building, 414 E. Main Street.  Appointments are strongly encouraged.  Call the Immunization Clinic at 919.560.7608 to make an appointment.  Students can also receive immunizations through the Healthy Futures Durham Schools (HFDS) program at one of five DPS locations.  HFDS also provides health check-ups for youth up to age 18, vision, hearing, and developmental screenings, dental fluoride treatment, iron level and lead testing and referrals and resources.

    Immunization services are provided with a sliding fee.  Free services are provided to students who meet one of the following eligibility categories:

    • Have NC Medicaid (Not NC Health Choice)
    • Have NO Medical Insurance
    • Be of American Indian or Alaskan Native origin

    In addition to DCoDPH, vaccines can be obtained from many health care providers in the community, including clinics in pharmacies and other retail stores.

    For more information and questions about the changes to the North Carolina immunization requirements, visit or call the DCoDPH immunization clinic at 919-560-7600, Option 4.

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    About Healthy Futures Durham Schools

    Healthy Futures Durham Schools (HFDS), a partnership with Durham County Department of Public Health, Duke University, and Durham Public Schools, is a child health assessment and prevention program that offers immunizations, kindergarten physicals, health check-ups, vision, hearing, and developmental screenings, dental fluoride treatment, iron levels and lead testing, and resources for children living in Durham County.  Youth from birth to age 18 can visit one of five elementary school sites for these services.  The sites include:  E.K. Powe, George Watts, Glenn, Merrick-Moore, and Oak Grove.  HFDS is a great resource for new families to Durham who need to obtain the required NC public schools health assessments and immunizations, according to House Bill 13.  Services are offered Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 4PM.  For more information, visit or contact Jenny Mauch, BSN, RN, at 919.560.7836 or