Knox County Health Department urging parents to get kids vaccinated

Knox County students need proper vaccinations or documentation before being allowed in class on first day of school.

In this photo Thursday, April 25, 2013 Lucy Butler,15, getting ready to have her measles jab at All Saints School in Ingleby Barwick, Teesside, England, as a national vaccination catch-up campaign has been launched to curb a rise in measles cases in England. More than a decade ago, British parents refused to give measles shots to at least a million children because of a vaccine scare that raised the specter of autism. Now, health officials are scrambling to catch up and stop a growing epidemic of the contagious disease. (AP Photo/Owen Humphreys, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) It was a problem last year in Knox County schools with students showing up on their first day of class, only to have to go home because they weren't properly immunized. Now the Knox County Health Department is urging parents to make sure their children have their proper shots before they head to class August 12th.

"We have two kinds of vaccinations," Dr. Martha Buchanann, Director of the Knox County Health Department explained. "We have recommended prevent diseases like cervical cancer. Or vaccines that prevent infectious diseases like the flu."

But not all parents are aware of what Knox County school require. For example, a requirement implemented last year stipulates that all 7th grade students have the D-TAP vaccination. D-TAP stands for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Pertussis is also known as whooping cough. Buchanann said there were hundreds of students who showed up last year without the proper documentation of receiving that vaccine.

"It was a big challenge for the schools because some schools had like 300 kids. It was really big," Buchanann said.

Parents can opt out of any vaccination for their children for any reason, they simply need to fill out the proper documentation and present it to the school.

For the list of what Knox County schools are requiring, or to get more information about vaccinations through the Knox County Health Department, click below.

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