The best choice is to have the children vaccinated by your family doctor. If that’s not possible, county offices of the Florida Department of Health (DOH) are offering free immunizations over the summer.
DOH-Broward will offer immunizations during a campaign Aug. 7-22 at Lauderhill Mall in Lauderhill.
“Vaccines are safe and have helped us wipe out many communicable diseases,” said Dr. Paula Thaqi, director of DOH-Broward. “Parents who want to fully protect their children should have them immunized.”
In the United States some unvaccinated children have come down with diseases that previously were virtually eradicated, including measles, chickenpox and whooping cough.
Florida law states children cannot start school unless they have received all vaccinations against nine contagious and potentially fatal childhood diseases.
Back-to-school shots are especially important for children entering kindergarten and seventh grade, because different requirements begin at those grade levels.
Vaccinations required for school include:
- Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough)
- Measles, mumps, rubella (German measles)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
- Hepatitis B
Parents are encouraged to consider additional vaccinations not required for school, but recommended by federal health officials. These include vaccines against flu (yearly starting at age six months), rotavirus, haemophilus influenzae B, pneumococcal disease, hepatitis A, human papilloma virus and meningococcal disease.
For back-to-school needs, DOH offers free shots provided through the federal Vaccines for Children program:
Call DOH-Broward for more information on the free school shots, including making appointments, at 954-467-4705. Information is also available at http://broward.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/clinical-and-nutrition-services/immunizations/index.html.