Nearly all 7th graders have required Tdap immunizations
Today is the deadline for 7th graders to receive their required tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine shots but in Georgetown County compliance has been nearly perfect.
That is what Laura Tucker, the head nurse for the district told the school board Tuesday night.
The South Carolina law charges the Department of Health and Environmental Control with enforcing provisions of the state law. Jim Beasley with DHEC said under the state law, school districts are allowed to grant one 30-day exemption. That is what Georgetown County School District had done, and that 30-day exemption ended on Friday. The law states that a 7th-grade student has to supply proof of immunization on the first day of enrollment.
That, Tucker said, is not a problem in Georgetown County.
Tucker said there are 778 students in the 7th grade in the county. When school started only about 330 of those students had received the immunization.
Dr. Mike Cafaro, the district's director of student support services and special programs, said Ray White, the district's public information officer, began getting the word out about the requirement.
Tucker said as of Tuesday only eight students had not received the shots and she expects those students will be in compliance by the deadline.
“The public is not aware of all that happens in schools that is important to the health of our kids. This has been truly impressive,” District superintendent Dr. Randy Dozier said.
Cafaro said he wanted to commend the parents of 7th graders for making sure their children have received the shots.
The shots are aimed at preventing pertussis, also called whooping cough.
New radios on the way
In other business Tuesday, the board agreed to spend up to $175,000 replacing Nextel walkie-talkies that have been used by bus drivers and other district employees with two-way radios.
The district is entering into a contract CoastComm Inc. of Garden City to set up the new radio system within the next 45-60 days.
Lisa Johnson, director of finance, said Nextel is closing down its walkie-talkie grid and service has been “very spotty.”
Dozier said because there are so many areas in the county where it is difficult to get Nextel service, it can be a safety issue.
He said bus drivers and employees need to be able to communicate county-wide which will be possible with the new radios.
Johnson said because this is considered an emergency, the service was not placed up for competitive bids.
CoastComm owner Tom Walters said the technology being used in the new digital radio system is expected to be up-to-date for years to come.
“There is nothing on the horizon for at least the next 10-15 years” that will replace this technology, Walters said.
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