Metro Schools: More than half of 7th graders don’t have required vaccines on file

(Courtesy: Metro Nashville Public Schools)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Three days into the 2017-18 year, Metro Nashville Public Schools says more than half of seventh grade students have not yet shown proof of immunization.

“Our first reporting window was yesterday and we have a lot of work to do,” said Dr. Tony Majors with Metro Schools said.

According to the district, there are 4,168 seventh grade students enrolled. Of those, 2,174, or just over 52 percent, are non-compliant.

“Today is the official notice date so they have until Wednesday, Aug. 16 to get their immunizations. Beginning Thursday, Aug. 17, students will not be allowed to school without proof of immunization,” Majors explained.

The law requires parents to provide an updated Tennessee immunization certificate with proof of two additional immunizations before starting seventh grade.

Those shots include:

  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster (“Tdap”): required regardless of Td history (2013 update)
  • Verification of immunity to varicella; (2 doses or history of disease)

“Despite our efforts to inform families of the additional immunizations required for seventh grade, we continue to see large numbers of students arrive without proof they have had these vaccines,” Majors said.

Students can receive the needed immunizations, or obtain the updated certificate if they have already had the immunizations, from their doctor or, if eligible, from the Metro Public Health Department.

The Health Department clinics are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday at Lentz, Woodbine and East locations.