As the school year begins today in Lake and Sumter counties, the Florida Department of Health encourages parents to have their children immunized.
County health departments across the state are providing free immunization services for eligible children who are entering school for the first time and for those who are returning to class in the upcoming school year, a news release states. Parents of kindergartners and 7th graders are encouraged to review their children’s immunization record to make sure they are ready for school. Students entering college are also encouraged to ensure their immunizations are up to date.
For the Florida Department of Health in Lake County, call 352.589.6424. In Sumter County, call 352.569.3102.
“Vaccines are important to your child’s overall health,” Aaron Kissler, health officer at the Florida DOH in Lake, says in the release. “The start of a new school year is always a perfect time to review your child’s immunization record and ensure they are up to date.”
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, the release states. Students entering college should check with the health services office 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 needed vaccinations. Florida SHOTS makes it easier to keep up with a child’s immunization history, even when moving or switching doctors.
Parents with children who are due for a vaccine should visit their family health care provider or a health department clinic. Visit ImmunizeFlorida.org to learn more about immunizations that children may need or call a local county health department to find out locations and times for immunization services.
For more information about the Florida Department of Health, visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.