Local district requiring all high school juniors to get meningitis vaccine

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Gwinnett County Schools is requiring all 11th graders to provide proof that they received the meningitis booster shot. Students should receive this shot on or just after their 16th birthday. Students should not get this booster before turning 16.

Before the start of the 2021-2022 school year, students will be required to show proof that they got the state-required vaccination. This will be necessary for all rising juniors, including transfer students.

The meningococcal booster vaccine or MCV4 must be documented on a Georgia Form 3231 Certificate of Immunization. This booster vaccine is in addition to the MCV4 vaccine that is required of students prior to beginning the seventh grade.

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Meningitis is a serious bacterial illness that affects the brain and the spinal cord. It can cause shock, coma and death within hours of the first symptoms.

Georgia law requires students to be vaccinated against this disease unless they have a documented exemption.

Students can get vaccinations and certificates of immunization from their private physician or at one of the area health department offices.

Students who meet eligibility requirements may receive vaccines at no charge through the Vaccines for Children program but must pay an administration fee.

Families that are unable to pay for the administration fee can request financial assistance.