Pasco News

Health department urges immunizations for students

Parents can avoid the back-to-school immunization rush for their children, officials at Florida Department of Health in Pasco County said.

Now is a good time to contact a child’s doctor to get physicals and immunizations, according to Deanna Krautner, health education program manager.

For children who may not have a doctor, the health department will provide immunizations at community events, including from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Paul R. Smith Middle School, 1410 Sweetbriar Drive.

Health department clinics have set aside days as well, Krautner added. The Family Health Services Clinic at 10841 Little Road, Building A, New Port Richey, will devote Tuesday, Aug. 12, for immunization walk-ins from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. People also can call (727) 861-5260, option 4, to arrange appointments on other days and times.

During National Immunization Awareness Month through the end of August, parents of kindergartners and 7th graders particularly are encouraged to review their children’s immunization record to ensure they are ready for the upcoming school year, Krautner elaborated.

If you don’t have a copy of your child’s immunization records, ask your provider about Florida Shots, the database that records immunizations. Students entering college are also encouraged to ensure their immunizations are up to date.

“Back to school vaccinations help protect children and families from the spread of infectious disease in our community,” said Mike Napier, County Health Officer. “Don’t wait; the best choice is to get into your child’s provider now for your back to school needs. If there is a barrier for your child to get vaccinated the health department does offer immunizations as well.”

Vaccines help develop immunity to countless infectious diseases by enabling the body to recognize and fight vaccine-preventable diseases.

The following vaccines are required for children entering pre-school and grades K-12: diphtheria; tetanus; pertussis, or whooping cough; measles; mumps; rubella; polio; varicella, or chickenpox; and hepatitis B.

Health deparment officials are urging parents of a child due for vaccin ation to visit the child’s health care provider or a health department clinic.

Information on which immunizations a child may need or to see the back to school events flyer from the Pasco health department, visit the Florida Department of Health website.

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