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Beat the School Rush with Free Immunizations at the Flagler Health Department

By Gretchen Smith

July 10, 2019

Bunnell, Fla.— Backpacks, lunch boxes, pens, pencils, paper and crayons. While picking up supplies for students, remember one of the most critical essentials for a healthy school year – up-to-date vaccinations. Kindergartners, seventh graders, and new and transferring students must provide proof of immunization to enroll in Flagler County Schools. To avoid the back-to-school rush, students can get the shots they need by visiting the Florida Department of Health in Flagler (DOH-Flagler) and its free immunization clinic starting next week.

“Vaccinations are the safest and most effective way to protect children and families from the spread of serious infectious diseases,” said Robert Snyder, Health Officer with DOH-Flagler. “We’re happy to help Flagler students get a healthy start to the school year. We are asking all parents and guardians to make sure immunizations are up-to-date, and bring their students to our back-to-school immunization clinic for whatever boosters they need.”

The health department will offer free immunizations July 15 through August 16, weekdays from 8 to 11AM and 1 to 3:30PM. No appointment is necessary. Parents and guardians are asked to bring their child’s immunization record, insurance card, and photo ID. The DOH-Flagler is located at 301 Dr. Carter Blvd. in Bunnell.

Vaccines help develop immunity to many serious infectious diseases, allowing the body to recognize and fight vaccine-preventable diseases. The following vaccines are required for children entering preschool and grades K-12: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, rubella, polio, varicella (chickenpox) and hepatitis B. Students leaving for college or university should check to ensure they follow their school’s immunization requirements.

Immunization requirements include:

Kindergarten – 12th Grade:

  • Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (DTaP) – 4 – 5 doses
  • Polio (OPV or IPV) – 4 doses (the last one after age 4)
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) – 2 doses
  • Hepatitis B (HepB) – 3 doses

Kindergarten – 11th Grade:

  • Varicella – 2 doses

12th Grade:

  • Varicella – 1 dose

7th – 12th Grade:

  • Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (Tdap) Booster – 1 dose

Parents/guardians of middle and high school students should also consider vaccinating their children for Human papillomavirus (HPV), meningitis and Hepatitis A. Studies show that the HPV vaccine is safe and effective in preventing the virus and preventing specific types of cancer in both men and women. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S, with approximately 79 million already infected and 14 million more cases expected each year. Visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/vaccine-preventable-disease/human-papillomavirus/index.html for more information.

The Center for Disease Controls (CDC) also recommends that 11 to 12-year old children should be vaccinated for meningitis, with a booster at age 16. This vaccine, a requirement for college students living on campus, is also important for those participating in sports teams.

If you have questions about the clinic or immunizations for your child, please call the Health Department at 386-437-7350, ext. 7095 or ext. 3111.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

For information about the local health department, go to flagler.floridahealth.gov, call 386-437-7350, or visit the office at 301 Dr. Carter Blvd. in Bunnell.