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Immunization Division

Frequently Asked Immunization Questions

 

Records

Immunization Programs

International Travel

Influenza Immunization

Certificate

Exemption

VAERS


 


 

Records

Question:
How can I get a copy of my immunization records?

Answer:
Start by asking the doctor’s office or county public health department where you received immunizations.  Contact numbers for county public health departments can be found at http://www.scdhec.gov/health/countymap.htm.  For more information, you can also link to the Regional Immunization Program Managers’ contact information at http://www.scdhec.gov/health/disease/immunization/contacts.htm or contact the DHEC Immunization Division at 1-800-277-4687.

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Immunization Programs

Question:
What immunization programs exist in South Carolina?

Answer:
Childhood and Adolescent
DHEC offers childhood and adolescent immunizations to eligible persons less than 19 years of age through the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) program  and the South Carolina STATE Vaccine Program.These immunization programs provide vaccines to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay and are available in many private physicians' offices and most county public health departments.  Contact numbers for county public health departments can be found at http://www.scdhec.gov/health/countymap.htm. For more information about these immunization programs, you can also link to the Regional Immunization Program Managers' contact information at
http://www.scdhec.gov/health/disease/immunization/contacts.htm or contact the DHEC Immunization Division at 1-800-277-4687.

Adult
DHEC also offers selected vaccines in most county health departments for adults 19 years and older that have no health insurance. Please call your local county health department for vaccine availability.  Contact numbers for county public health departments can be found at http://www.scdhec.gov/health/countymap.htm.  For more information, you can also link to the Regional Immunization Program Managers’ contact information at
http://www.scdhec.gov/health/disease/immunization/contacts.htm or contact the DHEC Immunization Division at 1-800-277-4687.

For those children and adolescents or adults who are not eligible for the immunization programs noted above, limited private vaccine is available for a fee (vaccine cost plus administration fee) at some county public health departments. Please call your local public health department for vaccine availability.  Contact numbers for county public health departments can be found at http://www.scdhec.gov/health/countymap.htm.  For more information, you can also link to the Regional Immunization Program Managers’ contact information at
http://www.scdhec.gov/health/disease/immunization/contacts.htm or contact the DHEC Immunization Division at 1-800-277-4687.

Question:
What are some resources for vaccine information?

Answer:
Websites:

National Immunization Program http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/
Immunization Action Coalition http://www.immunize.org/
Allied Vaccine Group http://www.vaccine.org/
Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/home.html
National Network for Immunization Information (NNii) www.immunizationinfo.org

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International Travel

Question:
Who provides foreign travel immunizations?

Answer:
Link to Yellow Fever immunization providers in South Carolina at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellow-fever-vaccination-clinics/search.htm

Question:
Where can I find information regarding antimalarial medications?
Answer:
Information regarding antimalaria medications can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/

Question:
We are a travel medicine clinic that offers all kinds of vaccinations, including one for yellow fever. How can we be listed on your site as a yellow fever vaccination provider?

Answer:
Yellow Fever vaccine providers must receive authorization from DHEC’s State Epidemiologist. This is the procedure:

  1. The requesting physician (must be a S.C. licensed physician) must send a letter of request to the DHEC State Epidemiologist, Bureau of Disease Control, Box 101106, Columbia, S.C.  29211.  The letter should request authorization to become a Yellow Fever vaccine provider in S.C. and include the physician's license number and contact information.
  2. Upon approval, the Immunization Division requisitions that a Yellow Fever stamp be created (stamp usually ready in two weeks).
  3. Once the stamp is received in the Immunization Division, the provider’s identifying information is added to the CDC Yellow Fever Web site
    http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellow-fever-vaccination-clinics/search.htm
  4. The Immunization Division prepares a Yellow Fever vaccine provider starter kit that is mailed to the requesting physician.

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Influenza Immunization

 

Question:
Where can I find an influenza vaccination?

Answer:
You can locate flu vaccine providers any number of ways. You can:

Question:
Does South Carolina require providers of influenza immunizations to register or notify DHEC prior to conducting flu immunization clinics?

Answer:
No.  You must however, have a licensed physician who is responsible for obtaining the vaccine and written standing orders for administration.

Question:
Can LPNs/LVNs administer influenza vaccine in South Carolina?

Answer:
Yes, if working under the orders of a licensed physician.

Question:
Are pharmacists in South Carolina administering influenza injections?

Answer:
Yes, some do. The Board of Pharmacy, with S.C. DHEC’s endorsements, requires a special immunization course completion prior to pharmacists administering influenza vaccinations.

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Certificate

Question:
Where can I obtain a South Carolina Certificate of Immunization for attendance at child day care centers and/or school?

Answer:
State Law 44-29-180/190 and Regulation 61-8 mandate that child day care facilities and schools, public and private, require entering children/students to present a South Carolina Certificate of Immunization or a South Carolina Certificate of Religious Exemption upon entry.  The immunization certificate must be completed and signed by a licensed physician or by his/her authorized representative.  These forms are available at county public health departments.    The South Carolina Certificate of Immunization can be mailed directly to the healthcare provider only.  E-mailed forms will not be accepted.

Contact numbers for county public health departments can be found at http://www.scdhec.gov/health/countymap.htm.  For more information you can also link to the Regional Immunization Program Managers’ contact information at http://www.scdhec.gov/health/disease/immunization/contacts.htm or contact the DHEC Immunization Division at 1-800-277-4687.

Question:
Are immunization requirements the same for public and private school in SC?

Answer:
Yes, the immunization requirements are the same for both public and private school.

Question:
Do South Carolina Immunization school laws apply to college students?

Answer:
S.C. immunization law applies to child day care centers and school grades kindergarten through 12th grade.  Each college and university sets their own policy for immunization requirements.  Contact the college or university you plan to attend and inquire about immunizations required by them for admission.

Question:
Who can complete a South Carolina Certificate of Immunization?

Answer:
A licensed physician or his/her authorized representative, authorized persons in the public health department, and authorized school nurses can complete a South Carolina Certificate of Immunization. 

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Exemption

Question:
What type of immunization exemptions are available in South Carolina?

Answer:
Medical and religious exemptions are the only available immunization exemptions in South Carolina.

Question:
How can I obtain a South Carolina Certificate of Religious Exemption?

Answer:
A religious exemption may be granted to any student whose parents, parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis signs and has notarized the appropriate section (Statement of Religious Objection) of the South Carolina Certificate of Religious Exemption. The South Carolina Certificate of Religious Exemption may only be obtained at a county public health department. Forms cannot be e-mailed or mailed.

Contact numbers for county public health departments can be found at http://www.scdhec.gov/health/countymap.htm.

Question:
Is there a personal exemption clause?

Answer:
No.  Medical and religious exemptions are the only available immunization exemptions in South Carolina.

Question:
Does the South Carolina Certificate of Religious Exemption form extend to college age students?

Answer:
No.  State immunization regulation on immunization exemptions extends from day care through 12th grade.  Each college and university sets their own policy for immunization requirements.

Question:
What is a medical exemption?

Answer:
South Carolina state law recognizes exemptions to immunization for medical contraindications as determined by a licensed healthcare provider.  Only an individual licensed to practice medicine, surgery, or osteopathy or his/her representative may issue a certificate of medical exemption to immunization.  There is one DHEC form, The South Carolina Certificate of Immunization, that meets both the certification and the medical exemption regulations (SC Regulation 61-8). 

Question:
What is a special exemption?

Answer:
A special exemption, signed by the school principal or his/her authorized representative, may be issued to transfer students while awaiting arrival of medical records from their former area of residence or to other students who have been unable to secure immunizations or documentation of immunizations already received. A South Carolina Certificate of Special Exemption may be issued only once and is valid for only thirty (30) days. At the expiration of this special exemption, the student must present a valid South Carolina Certificate of Immunization or a valid South Carolina Certificate of Religious Exemption.

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VAERS

 

Question:
What is VAERS?

Answer:
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national vaccine safety surveillance program, co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). VAERS collects and analyzes information from reports of adverse events (possible side effects) following vaccination.

Anyone can file a VAERS report, including health care providers, manufacturers, and the person who has received the vaccine (vaccine recipient). Vaccine recipients or their parents or guardians are encouraged to seek the help of their health care provider in filling out the VAERS form. Accurate and complete reporting of adverse events after vaccination provides the information needed for evaluation of vaccine safety.

A report to VAERS can be made by mail or online at http://vaers.hhs.gov . For more information contact the DHEC Immunization Division at 1-800-277-4687.