Health officials encourage child immunizations ahead of new school year

Vaccines, such as these at the Carteret County Health Department in Morehead City in July 2019, are required for school-aged children in North Carolina. (Cheryl Burke photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — While the nation’s focus remains on COVID-19 vaccinations, Carteret County health officials remind parents of school-age and college-bound students to be sure all required and recommended vaccines are up-to-date for the coming school year.

Kim Davis, nursing director for the County Health Department, said, “Having all school-required vaccines protects your child from harmful infections while protecting your family, their classmates and the community.”

Ms. Davis added having children vaccinated protects them from serious diseases, including measles, mumps and chicken pox.

A state law, G.S. 130A-152, requires every child who lives in North Carolina to receive certain immunizations. It also requires every child entering public schools in North Carolina to receive a health assessment. The assessment must occur within 12 months prior to entering school and can be provided by your child’s doctor. Parents, guardians or medical providers must provide a completed health assessment transmittal form to the school on or before the first day of school.

Although not mandatory, officials also remind parents that children 12 and older can now be vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccinations are offered each Friday at the health department at 3820-A Bridges Street in Morehead City.

Health officials encourage child immunizations ahead of new school year

A Carteret County Health Department nurse prepares a child’s vaccine in July 2019. The health department encourages parents to make sure children are up-to-date on vaccinations ahead of the new school year. (Cheryl Burke photo)

“We are focused on protecting the safety and health of our community,” County Health Director Nina Oliver said. “Vaccines are a very important tool to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and we encourage anyone 12 years of age or older to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.”

Every parent, guardian or person is responsible for ensuring their child receives required immunizations. They must provide a record of these immunizations to the school. Any student who is not age-appropriately vaccinated on the first day of class attendance has 30 calendar days to obtain the required immunizations. No student will be allowed to attend class after the 30- day grace period without proof all age-appropriate vaccinations have been received.

Most vaccines are required when a child enters school for the first time in kindergarten. State law also requires one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of meningococcal vaccine for all rising seventh-graders or those who reach 12 years of age whichever comes first.

Children 17 years of age or older who are entering 12th grade must receive one booster dose of the meningococcal vaccine, unless their initial dose was administered on or after their 16th birthday.

If you have specific questions regarding your child, contact your child's health care provider or the health department at 252-728-8550. You can also refer to the NC Immunization Branch website at

Those interested in scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine for their child can call the health department at 252-728-8550, option 2, or go online to and select Carteret County.


Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

(6) comments


And don’t forget your Masks.

More kids die in pool drownings every year than have died from COVID so far; according to the latest federal numbers, just .06% of all COVID fatalities in this country have been Americans aged 18 and under.

So why mandate masks in schools? Well, because the teachers' unions demanded it. Wear a Mask, Wear a Mask, Wear a Mask. All good people wear masks.

David Collins

So ALL schoolchildren12 and older MUST BE VACCINATED or not allowed to continue in public school . Oh boy , would love to be a fly on the wall and observe how that pans out . That is a broad brush indeed . Bet there are more than a few social justice lawyers out there licking their chops and itching to go .

Quite sure there will be backpedaling and “clarification “ on this , rather soon . The Devil , or in this case the virus , is always in the details .


Yes, public schools have had required vaccinations for decades. Covid vaccine isn't one of those, but many other vaccines are required. This has already been fought out in the courts.

The first school requirement for the smallpox vaccine was in 1850. Any parent is well aware of vaccine requirements.

(Edited by staff.)


They don’t tell you this but there’s a vaccine exemption form. They can’t force anyone to be vaccinated. Have 6 kids whom have never had not one single vaccine and there in public schools and wait there healthy as a whistle never been sick never get sick. We have researched every vaccine inside and out there’s a lot more damaging stuff in those vaccines than you’ll ever know until you start researching for yourself. Don’t let them bully you in vaccines ask for the exemption form it’s simple.


So obviously apparent that you are too young to have seen the results of these illnesses. My brother is completely deaf as a result of the mumps in 1963. Polio ravaged America for generations, too. Perhaps you should be careful what you are asking for….I feel sorry for your children, living in our modern age and being denied basic medical intervention…..

David Collins

Genetics enters into the equation as well . Nothing is ever 100% .

Welcome to the discussion.

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