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New Immunization Requirement for 6th Grade Entry

Tdap booster vaccine is now required for all public school students entering the 6th grade. The requirement also applies to 12 year olds in private, non-traditional, or home schools; and those entering college or university for the first time.

The required booster dose of Tdap vaccine is for:

All students in public school who:

  • are entering the 6th grade on or after August 1, and
  • have not had a tetanus/diphtheria vaccine in five years or more
  • All students who attend private, non-traditional, or home schools and who:
  • are 12 years of age on or after August 1, and
  • five years or more have passed since the last tetanus/diphtheria vaccine
  • Those individuals enrolling in college or university for the first time on or after July 1, 2008, must have had three doses of Td and a booster dose of Tdap vaccine if a Td or Tdap vaccine has not been administered within the past 10 years.

This rule change also affects mumps vaccine. Students are now required to receive a second dose of mumps vaccine before enrolling in school, college, or university for the first time.

Tdap is a vaccine that provides protection against three diseases: tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (commonly called whooping cough). Parents should contact their child’s doctor to schedule an appointment to receive this vaccine. Buncombe County parents may also take their child to the Buncombe County Department of Health for the vaccine without an appointment. Because Tdap is required, there is no cost for the vaccine, although your doctor may charge a small fee to give the vaccine.

Your child’s school will need to have a copy of an up-to-date vaccination record on the first day of 6th grade. You will have 30 days from the first day of school attendance to present the required immunization record for your child. If proof of vaccination is not provided by the end of the 30 calendar day period, the child will be suspended from school until they provide proof of immunization.

Do not delay! Make sure your child is ready and up-to-date on their vaccinations before the start of the 6th grade school year.

For more information, call your child’s doctor’s office, the Buncombe County Department of Health at 250-5096 or visit