If you have children going back to school, make sure they are up-to-date on immunizations their school requires. Otherwise, they can’t enroll.

Vaccines help the immune system build up resistance to dangerous diseases. They are given to children to help prevent diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, chickenpox, polio and measles, but also pneumonia and rotavirus diarrhea – two of the biggest killers in children younger than 5.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes vaccines as containing “the same germs that cause the disease, but the germs have been either killed or weakened to the point that they don’t make you sick.”

Required immunizations for North Carolina schools

North Carolina law requires all children in the state to receive the following immunizations, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis – 5 doses
  • Polio – 4 doses
  • Measles – 2 doses
  • Mumps – 2 doses
  • Rubella (German measles) – 1 dose
  • Haemophilus Influenzae type B (Hib) – 4 doses
  • Hepatitis B – 3 doses
  • Varicella (chickenpox) – 2 doses
  • Pneumococcal conjugate – 4 doses

Middle and high school: Students entering the seventh grade need two doses of meningococcal conjugate. The first is as they enter seventh grade or by 12 years old, whichever comes first. A booster dose is required for students entering the 12th grade or by 17 years old, whichever comes first.

Required immunizations for South Carolina schools

South Carolina law requires the following immunizations, at a minimum, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis – 4 doses
  • Tdap booster – 1 dose
  • Polio – 3 doses
  • Rubeola (measles) – 2 doses
  • Rubella (German measles) – 1 dose
  • Mumps – 1 dose
  • Hepatitis B – 3 doses
  • Varicella (chickenpox) – 3 doses

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