Local health officials remind parents to get kids vaccinated

WASHINGTON — Back-to-school season is upon us, which means a long list of to-dos to get the kids ready for class. Among the critical items — your child’s vaccinations.

“What parents should do is call their health care provider, schedule an appointment to have any immunizations taken care of,” said Stephanie Evers with Montgomery County Health and Human Services.

Montgomery County Public Schools will host a back-to-school fair Saturday, Aug. 29 with free immunizations for seventh graders. Residents can call 311 to make an appointment.

Dr. Angela Wakhweya, chief school health officer for Prince George’s County Public Schools, said now is the time for parents to review their children’s immunization records.

Newer requirements in Maryland include two chicken pox vaccines for incoming kindergartners and these shots for students entering seventh grade: T-dap, which offers protection from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis; and the meningococcal vaccine.

Wakhweya said people who don’t have primary care doctors or insurance can contact contact the health department to schedule physicals and immunizations. Prince George’s offered free immunizations at a back-to-school fair on Saturday.

“We want to emphasize to parents that their child will be excluded from school if they’re not immunized on day one,” Wakhweya said.

Medical or religious objections to the vaccinations must be documented and submitted to school officials, said.

Several immunization clinics are being offered throughout Virginia. They include:

Arlington County Public Health Division sponsors immunization clinics at 2100 Washington Blvd., 2nd floor (Sequoia Plaza), in Arlington, Virginia. The clinics are offered three times during the week:  3 to 6:30 p.m.Tuesday; 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday; 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays.  No appointment is necessary. Please bring any immunization records you may have.  Free vaccines are available to all children, regardless of insurance status. There is no charge for vaccines children eligible for the Vaccines for Children Federal Program.

Alexandria Health Department offers routine immunizations for infants, teens and adults. Walk-in and appointment-only clinics are both available. Please bring all immunization records and insurance cards with you and present them at time of registration. Pleases visit 4480 King Street, 2nd floor in Alexandria, Virginia or call  703-746-4980.

Fairfax County Health Department offers four days of extended, back-to-school immunizations in August and September on the following dates:

– Friday, Aug. 28, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
– Monday, Aug. 31. 8 a.m to 6 p.m.
– Tuesday, Sept. 1. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
– Tuesday, Sept., 8 a.m to 6 p.m.

Stafford County Health Department provides immunizations every Friday, from 8 a.m. to noon. Call 540-659-3101 for further information or appointments.

Spotsylvania County: The T-dap vaccine and any other immunizations mandated by law can be obtained free of charge at the Spotsylvania County Health Department, 2nd floor of the Holbert Building, 9104 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania, Virginia. Call 540-507-7400.  Immunization clinics are held every Monday, from 8 a.m. until noon. An appointment is not needed.

Where to find more information on immunization requirements


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