It's back to school time again, which means it's high time to get those folders, No.2 pencils and vaccinations in order. Carroll County Public Schools has expanded new vaccination requirements first enacted last school year to the next grade level.

In the 2014-2015 school year, entering kindergartners were required to get two, rather than just one varicella vaccinations, while entering seventh graders were required to have one dose each of the meningococcal and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis whooping cough) vaccine. In the coming 2015-2016 school year, these requirements will be extended to first- and eight-graders, respectively.


"That was the plan, to keep adding grades," said Filipa Gomes, director of health services for Carroll County Public Schools. "If we have new students coming to our county, or from out of state, they would need to have those vaccines. But for those students that were in the school system last year, they should already have them."

Carroll County students have been highly immunized historically — Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reports found 97.1 percent of students to be fully immunized in the 2013-2014 school year — a fact some health officials have credited in Carroll's coming through recent outbreaks of preventable infections, such as measles, relatively unscathed.

The Carroll County Health Department again will be offering back-to-school vaccination clinic days to help parents ensure their children have all their shots, according to Penny Bramlett, program supervisor maternal child health school health at the health department.

The two free, walk-in clinics will be at the Health Department from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 31 and Tuesday, Sept. 1 and are open to any child through 18, regardless of insurance status, according to Bramlett.


If you go

What: Carroll County Health Department Back to School Vaccination Clinics

When: 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31 and Tuesday, Sept. 1

Where: The Carroll County Health Department, 290 S. Center St., Westminster

Cost: Free

For more information: call the Health Department at 410-876-4942.