National Immunization Awareness Month

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The Florida Department of Health in Manatee County (DOH-Manatee) recognizes August as National Immunization Awareness Month. Parents are encouraged to have their children immunized now to avoid the back-to-school immunization rush.

DOH-Manatee is 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.

Vaccines help develop immunity to countless infectious diseases by enabling the body to recognize and fight vaccine-preventable diseases. The following vaccines are required for children entering pre-school 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.

Visit http://goo.gl/zyJ6Hp for more information on which immunizations your child may need. DOH-Manatee offers free back-to-school vaccinations Monday through Friday, 7:30 - 5:00 pm by appointment and walk-in. To schedule an appointment, call (941) 748-0747, extension 1456.