SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Chatham County Health Department is holding a special Saturday clinic to help high school juniors get up to date with the required meningitis booster shot.

The clinic will be held Saturday, October 15th at Windsor Forest High School in Savannah. Space is limited and appointments are required.

Appointments can be scheduled online at coastalhealthdistrict.org/teenclinic or by calling the Chatham County Health Department at 912-356-2441.

The booster shot is required for anyone in school who is 16 years of age (usually 11th grade) and has already received their first meningitis vaccine, which usually happens when they’re in 7th grade. 

A parent or guardian must accompany the child to the appointment. Also, patients with insurance should bring a copy of their insurance card to the clinic. Insurance will be billed when available, but there will be no out-of-pocket cost for the vaccination regardless of insurance status.

“We really hope parents will take advantage of this clinic and book a spot if their child needs the meningitis booster,” said Dr. Sierra Peebles, Nurse Manager of the Chatham County Health Department said in a written statement. “We don’t want any student to miss school because they don’t have required vaccines. Our goal is to help kids get up to date so they have the protection they need and no disruption to their school year.”

Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection that can be deadly in a matter of hours. Meningitis is a swelling of the brain and spinal cord and can result in brain damage, hearing loss, or worse.

Disease levels increase in adolescence starting around age 11, and peak around age 19 years. Georgia students already receive a meningococcal vaccination before entering 7th grade, and the booster is aimed to provide added protection during these peak years of risk, according to the Chatham County Health Department.