Summer vacation will quickly come to an end, so you are wise to start thinking about back-to-school immunizations for the children.
The best place for kids to get their shots is at their regular doctor. But if that isn't possible, the Florida Department of Health in Broward gives free shots to students at Lauderhill Mall in August.
The outreach campaign runs from August 10 to 25 at Lauderhill Mall, 1267 NW 40 Ave. Don't miss the highlight -- a health fair and immunization fest on Saturday, August 22, featuring free backpacks, school supplies, fresh produce and family fun.
In addition to the mall campaign, all recommended immunizations are offered at DOH health centers.
Immunizations are especially important for children entering kindergarten and seventh grade, because different requirements begin at those grade levels. Vaccinations required for school include:
- Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) – Four or five doses of DTaP vaccine for babies and pre-schoolers. One additional dose, Tdap, before seventh grade.
- Polio – Three to five doses of vaccine for babies and pre-schoolers.
- Measles, mumps, rubella (German measles) – Two doses of MMR vaccine for babies and pre-schoolers.
- Chickenpox – Two doses of vaccine for babies and pre-schoolers. One additional dose before seventh grade. Among adults, the virus can re-emerge and cause the painful skin condition called shingles.
- Hepatitis B – Three doses of vaccine for babies.
In addition, federal health officials recommend several other immunizations not required for school. These include vaccines against flu (every year starting at age six months), rotavirus (three doses for babies), Haemophilus influenzae B (three to four doses for babies), pneumococcal disease (four doses for babies), hepatitis A (two doses for babies), human papilloma virus (three doses at age 11 or older) and meningococcal disease (two doses at age 11 or older).
For the first time, DOH-Broward will give HPV and meningitis vaccines for free at the Lauderhill Mall event.