Effective October 1, the Allegheny County Health Department will provide free vaccine to children only if they are uninsured, have Medicaid or are an American Indian or Alaskan Native under new guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The guidelines only allow the Health Department to use federal funds to provide free vaccine to children in the groups listed above and require anyone with insurance to get vaccine through their insurance plan.
"We're advising that children with insurance coverage visit their regular health care provider to get vaccines and other health care," said Acting Health Director Dr. Ron Voorhees.
The Health Department's vaccination clinic, at 3441 Forbes Avenue, Oakland, is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Wednesdays, from 1 to 8 p.m., with free parking available after 4:30 p.m. in the lot behind 3333 Forbes Avenue. No appointment is necessary.
The clinic offers vaccines which protect children against the following diseases: diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Hib disease, HPV (human papillomavirus), measles, meningitis, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus, rubella, tetanus and varicella (chicken pox).
Parents and care-givers are reminded to bring their child's vaccination records to the clinic.