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Opinion
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2013 5 years ago

Start back-to-school immunizations early

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Consider getting vaccines done before school's out
by: Mirna Chamorro

The Florida Department of Health in Orange and Seminole counties are urging parents to prepare their children now for the upcoming school year. Parents should use their medical homes or private doctor to have their children vaccinated and avoid the back-to-school rush and long lines during the summer. Families, who do not have a medical home, can refer to the link below for a list of children’s medical providers or visit the health departments’ immunization clinics. Children with private insurance, assigned to a medical home or HMO provider, will need to go to their doctor for immunizations as the health department is a safety net for those without any health care coverage.

“You can protect your children from vaccine preventable diseases all year round. Parents should see every encounter such as annual physicals, interim check-ups or sports physicals as an opportunity to provide their children with any missing vaccines. Keep your children up-to-date on their immunizations and ready for school”, said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.

“Vaccines can protect the children who receive them and those with whom they come in contact,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County. “Immunizations are an important tool in preventing diseases that were once common in this country. We can all work towards keeping our community healthy and free of vaccine preventable diseases.”

Parents are encouraged to get their child their vaccinations even before starting summer vacation. Avoid the lines and go directly to your primary care provider. The health department will be verifying through electronic systems the need for service and referring people back to their provider if they have one.

Only families without any type of insurance should go to local county health departments for vaccines.

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County provides back-to-school immunizations Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its Central Office located at 832 W. Central Blvd. Parents are urged to arrive early to obtain a walk-in ticket as services are provided on a walk-in basis.

In Seminole County, immunizations are provided at the health department’s Sanford location at 400 W. Airport Blvd. Hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m., and Thursday 8 to 11:30 a.m.

Due to the high demand for immunizations, services are provided on a first-come, first-served, walk-in basis. Children must be accompanied by an adult family member or legal guardian to receive immunizations. If not, a notarized permission form signed by the parent or legal guardian must be presented before services are rendered. A copy of each child’s immunization record and government-issued, valid photo identification of the adult relative or legal guardian are required.

A certified DH 680 immunization form is required for school entry, and is provided free once vaccinations are received. If a client only needs a DH 680 form, there is an administrative fee. You can also obtain this form at your child’s doctor’s office and the health departments’ immunization clinics or medical records departments if your child is already up-to-date on their immunizations.

Now is the time to get your child up-to-date on their immunizations and avoid the last minute rush to obtain the shots required for school entry. For more information on childhood immunizations, visit our websites at orchd.com and seminolecohealth.com. For the resource list of children’s medical providers, visit tinyurl.com/listofproviders

– Mirna Chamorro

Public Information Officer, Florida Department of Health in Orange & Seminole counties

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