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Vaccinations key to preventing disease in children

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Few adults (if any) enjoy getting shots, much less kids. But they gotta have 'em.

By state law, children wishing to join in Gwinnett County schools must have a valid immunization form -- or immunization exemption, for medical or religious reasons -- before enrolling.

Children entering the sixth grade must have had the following, according to information on the Gwinnett County Public Schools website:

-- Two doses of the measles vaccine

-- Two doses of the mumps vaccine

-- One dose of rubella vaccine

-- Two doses of the varicella, or chicken pox, vaccine

In some cases, parents can obtain laboratory proof of immunity against individual diseases. All vaccines must be documented on a valid certificate of immunization, which can only be obtained at doctor's offices or county health departments.

In Gwinnett, immunizations are available at health department locations in Buford, Lawrenceville, Norcross and Lilburn. For more information, visit www.gnrhealth.com.

Students must also have proof of vision, hearing and dental exams obtained in the last year prior to enrolling in school.

For a complete list of suggested vaccines for children and infants, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines.