Back-to-school im­mu­niza­tions avail­able at health unit

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Elisha Mor­ri­son el­[email protected]­ton­courier.com

The Arkansas Depart­ment of Heath Saline County Health Unit is now ac­cept­ing ap­point­ments for two ded­i­cated im­mu­niza­tion clin­ics to help stu­dents get their shots for back to school.

The health unit is lo­cated at 1612 Edi­son Ave. in Ben­ton.

The clin­ics will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 29, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 29.

“(It is) just to help kids get vac­ci­na­tions up to date for the cur­rent school year,” said Clinic Co­or­di­na­tor Diana Wallace.

There are 60 ap­point­ments avail­able each day of the clin­ics.

Stu­dents must be vac­ci­nated to at­tend school un­less they have an ex­emp­tion. Wallace said the stu­dents who start school with­out the re­quired vac­ci­na­tions usu­ally re­ceive a let­ter in­form­ing par­ents of a dead­line they must be vac­ci­nated by.

Wallace said the clin­ics are open to all stu­dents in Saline County, in­clud­ing those at­tend­ing day­care and preschool.

Im­mu­niza­tions will also be avail­able dur­ing reg­u­lar clinic hours Mon­day through Fri­day.

Wallace said stu­dents with in­sur­ance should bring their in­for­ma­tion. Those who do not will re­ceive their im­mu­niza­tion through the Vac­ci­na­tions for Chil­dren Fund, a fed­eral pro­gram meant to en­sure chil­dren age 18 and younger are fully vac­ci­nated.

Those re­ceiv­ing im­mu­niza­tions must not be run­ning fever or sick at the time. Wallace said summer is a good time for im­mu­niza­tions be­cause chil­dren are less likely to be ill.

Wallace said par­ents will fill out a med­i­cal his­tory ques­tion­naire, but there are not many med­i­cal rea­sons that would prevent a shot. There are some things where the clinic may need permission from the child’s physi­cian to ad­min­is­ter the shot.

Wallace added the ben­e­fits of vac­ci­na­tion out­weigh any risks.

Which vac­ci­na­tions a child needs de­pends on age. Wallace rec­om­mends par­ents visit www.cdc.gov/

cac­cines/par­ents to see what their child will need.

The clinic asks that par­ents bring their child’s up-to-date shot record or a let­ter from the school nurse list­ing what vac­cines they need.

The clinic can put the child’s shot records on WEBIZ to make them ac­ces­si­ble to other providers.

Wallace rec­om­mends par­ents pre­pare younger chil­dren by giv­ing them Tylenol or Ibupro­fen be­fore the shot.

Wallace said the vac­ci­na­tions are a smooth process. The clinic wants to get pa­tients in and out and on with their day as quickly as pos­si­ble.

To re­ceive the vac­ci­na­tions, par­ents will need to call 501303-5650 to set up an appointmen­t.

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