The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County encourages parents to have their children immunized as the new school year approaches. Local county health departments statewide are providing free immunization services for eligible children who are entering school for the first time and those who are returning to class in the upcoming school year. Parents of kindergartners and 7th graders are encouraged to review their children’s immunization record to ensure they are ready for the upcoming school year. Students entering college are also encouraged to ensure their immunizations are up to date.
“Immunizations are the primary means of preventing serious communicable diseases”, stated Paul Myers, Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County. “Your county health department or your child’s doctor will assist in satisfying school attendance requirements related to vaccinations.”
Vaccines help develop immunity to many serious infectious diseases by enabling 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 entering college should check with the health services at their college regarding immunization requirements.
Florida SHOTS is a free, statewide, centralized online immunization registry that helps health care providers, parents, and schools keep track of immunization records to ensure that patients of all ages receive the vaccinations needed to protect them from dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases. Florida SHOTS makes it easier to keep up with your child’s immunization history—even when moving or switching doctors. The registry is endorsed by the Florida Academy of Family Physicians, Florida Association of Health Plans, Inc., Florida Medical Association, Florida Osteopathic Medical Association, and the Florida Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics.
If your child is due for a vaccine, please visit your family health care provider or one of our health department clinics. Visit ImmunizeFlorida.org to learn more about immunizations your child may need or call your local county health department to find out locations and times for immunization services available near you.
For more information, contact Michael Smith at 352-334-8873 or Michael.Smith@FLHEALTH.GOV.