In 2012 the state required all sixth graders to receive the Tdap vaccination for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Students from all the Hattiesburg elementary schools met at Woodley Elementary School where officials from the Mississippi Department of Health administered the shots.
"We're just trying to make sure that our students are up to date on their immunizations so they can be prepared to enter seventh grade." Sonia Laster is the school nurse for the district. She says these students all received the Tdap vaccine before they entered kindergarten.
"Vaccines, some of them just don't last forever. You have to get immunized and this is one immunization that requires that." Health officials recommend that patients get the vaccine at birth, seven through ten years of age, 11 through 18 and 65 and older - as well as women who are pregnant.
These pre-teens also had the chance to get the HPV vaccine. "HPV is for the human papillomavirus, that virus is responsible for a certain type of cervical cancer." The vaccine is available for girls and boys. It's not required by the state but recommended.
If your child needs vaccinating, the MSDH is offering free vaccinations until April 26 at all county health departments. Here is the link for the full list of free vaccines available this week:http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/23,13716,341.html