CMCSS gives info about back to school vaccinations

Payton Baggett Reporting

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – With the start of school rapidly approaching, the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System has issued some information about the vaccinations children will need for the beginning of the school year.

The TN Department of Education requires proof of immunizations for every child attending public school.

According to the CMCSS website, the Tetanus-Diptheria-Pertussis booster is needed for kids going into the 7th grade if they have not already been given that shot less than five years prior. Two doses of varicella are also required for upcoming 7th graders, Kindergarteners, and new students enrolling into a TN school in any other grade.

Students who are new to the school system will need to show evidence of a current complete medical examination within one calendar year. They will have 30 days after enrolling to do so.

All 7th graders must have proof of the required shots by Monday, September 9, 2013. Any child who has not done so by this time will not be allowed to remain in school.

About requirements from the state, CMCSS Nurse Manager, Sharla Smith said, “We follow those guidelines, but allow a 30 day grace period that a lot of school systems don’t.” This is, in part a result of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children which aims to make school-to-school transfers, eligibility, enrollment, placement and graduation easier for students with parents in the military.

District Registered Nurse, Amber Shimon talked about the minimum age requirements or minimum dose intervals that some vaccines have, meaning that some students could miss the deadline for having their shots while waiting to complete a certain vaccination. Luckily, schools will honor Temporary Certificates of immunizations issued by medical providers for children who have not received all required vaccines, as long as the children are in the process of getting the needed shots.

All Temporary Certificates must have an expiration date that is one month after the date the next required immunization is due.

Families can go to the health department or urgent care clinics for Temporary Certificates if their need is immediate, but CMCSS recommends families visit their primary caregiver for insurance purposes.

Parents or guardians with concerns are encouraged to contact Sharla Smith at (931) 920-7806,, or Amber Shimon at (931) 920-7976, with questions, as nurses will not be reporting to schools until the day before classes begin.