Deadline passes for sixth-graders to get new shot

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Sarah Nagem
Some sixth-graders will likely be suspended from school today if they have not gotten an immunization booster shot.
In the Rowan-Salisbury School System, 86 sixth-graders might be suspended today, according to Susan Thomas, the system’s lead school health nurse.
Twenty-one sixth-graders in the Kannapolis City Schools system have not gotten the vaccination, system spokeswoman Ellen Boyd said Tuesday. She said three of those students had just enrolled in the system.
A new state law says schools must suspend sixth-graders who have not gotten a Tdap immunization booster. The vaccination protects against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.
Students will not be suspended if they show school officials proof they have an appointment to get the vaccination, said Dr. Walter Hart, assistant superintendent of administration in the Rowan-Salisbury system.
“We’re doing everything we can reasonably do to not suspend (students),” Hart said.
Earlier this month, Thomas said school leaders were sending out warning letters to parents.
Before the summer break, state school officials sent letters to parents about the new law, she said.
Students can get the vaccination from their doctor or from the Rowan County Health Department.
The service is free at the Health Department, but an appointment is needed. To set up an appointment, call 704-216-8786.