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Health

Back to School Immunization Walk In Clinics are Underway for Greene County Children

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/backtoscho_4919.mp3

It’s almost back to school time…store ads are featuring school supplies and backpacks, and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s Immunization Walk-In clinics have begun. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more on the free clinics…

Dalton Church starts high school in the fall. Today, he visited the Westside Public Health Center in Springfield to get his needed vaccinations…The health center began its “back to school” immunization walk in clinics today. They’ll be offered each Monday thru Friday from 8 am to 10 am throughout the month of August. Springfield-Greene County Health Department spokesperson Jaci McReynolds says shots that are required for school or day care are provided at no cost. Children entering kindergarten will need boosters if they haven’t had them after the age of four.And McReynolds says it’s not just incoming kindergartners who may need shots…

"There are a number of shots that are required for kindergarten registration, in particular, but it's also important to remember that pre-teens may also need booster shots, so if your child is between the ages of 11 and 12, you may want to look at the school recommendations or talk with your healthcare provider or call the Westside Public Health Center, and we can let you know what booster shot your child may need to have this fall."

The Westside Public Health Center is located at 660 S. Scenic in Springfield. McReynolds says there are some things parents need to keep in mind before they take their children to the clinic…

"First of all, we must have a parent or guardian bring the child and then, secondly, we ask them to please bring the child's shot record with them."

McReynolds says, without the free clinics, some families couldn’t afford to have their kids vaccinated…

"We have a lot of people who do all of their immunizations here at the Westside Public Health Center, and if that were not available to them, I'm not sure where they would seek that care, but it's available to anybody regardless of their insurance status, and any of those shots that are required for school or daycare are provided at no cost, so if that's helpful to someone, they're certainly welcome to come and get their shots here."

You don’t need appointments to take children to the walk-in clinics as long as you go Monday thru Friday from 8 am to 10 am during August. Parents who can’t take their kids during those times can make appointments for immunizations by calling 874-1220.There’s a link to the required vaccines for school or daycare in Missouri at the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s website—that’s springfieldmo.gov/health.For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.