Most schools require children to be current on vaccinations before enrolling to protect the health of all students. Today’s childhood vaccines prevent serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough and chickenpox. Tatum Johnson, R.N., from the Metro Public Health Department joined us on a recent episode of Community Health Matters to discuss the immunizations your child needs before going back to school. View her segment here.

One of the most important things a parent can do for their child’s health is to have them vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s immunization schedule. And all children enrolling in Metro Nashville Public Schools must have an official Tennessee Certificate of Immunization. This certificate is required by state law and is only available from a private healthcare provider or from the Metro Public Health Department.

To enroll in kindergarten, all children must receive the following immunizations:

  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)
  • Hepatitis A

Before entering 7th grade, students are required to be receive these additional immunizations:

  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster
  • Verification of immunity to varicella

Looking for a Metro Public Health Department clinic near you? All of the middle Tennessee clinics listed below allow walk-in appointments for routine child and adult immunizations.

Lentz Public Health Center
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

East Nashville Public Health Center
Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Woodbine Public Health Center
Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, 7 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

For more information on how to guard your child against potentially life-threatening diseases, please visit

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Community Health Matters airs on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. Central Time, with an encore showing on the second Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m Central.