October 14, 2008 |

County offers free immunizations for school children

The Allegheny County Health Department will hold a free immunization clinic on Wednesday, Oct. 15, from 1 to 7 p.m., for students from kindergarten through 12th grade to get vaccinations needed for school.

The clinic, at the Health Department's office at 3441 Forbes Avenue in Oakland, will offer all of the required vaccines, including those that became mandatory this school year.

“This is a great opportunity for provisionally enrolled children who have not yet received all the vaccines, especially the newly required ones, to get caught up and meet all requirements before their provisional enrollment expires,” said County Health Director Dr. Bruce W. Dixon.

The new requirements include meningitis and tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis vaccines in grades 7 through 12 and an extra dose of mumps and chickenpox vaccines in kindergarten through 12.

In addition, other school immunization requirements have been streamlined to apply across the board in kindergarten through 12th grade instead of only in certain grade levels.

Under Allegheny County's school immunization requirements, all public, private, parochial, cyber and home-schooled students must have the following vaccinations:

K – 12, four doses of tetanus/diphtheria (one after the 4th birthday) or three doses when the series is started after 7 years old; three doses of polio and hepatitis B; two doses of measles and mumps; two doses of chickenpox or a history of the disease; and one dose of rubella.

7 – 12, one dose of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis administered in a single shot and one dose of meningitis vaccine.

The vaccination requirements have been endorsed by the Allegheny County Immunization Coalition, a group of 43 local health organizations and educational institutions committed to protecting children from vaccine-preventable diseases.

For more information about the school immunization requirements, call the Allegheny County Health Department at 412-687-ACHD.

No appointment is necessary at the clinic. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, who should bring their immunization records to the clinic. Free parking will be available from 5 to 7 p.m. in the parking lot behind the Health Department's office at 3333 Forbes Avenue.

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