WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Westchester County Department of Health wants parents and guardians to know that backpacks and pencils aren't all that’s needed to get kids ready for school.
Now is the time to schedule an appointment with your child’s health care provider to ensure he or she will have the immunizations they need to avoid vaccine-preventable illness throughout the school year. Some vaccines are required by the state to start school on time.
The Westchester County Health Department will offer free immunizations by appointment during special back-to-school clinics for children ages 12 months through 18 years, who are uninsured or whose insurance doesn't cover immunizations.
Cases of whooping cough in school aged children have been reported in Westchester and recent national and international outbreaks of measles serve as important reminders of the need to ensure residents are up-to-date with all recommended vaccinations.
During the county's clinics, facilitated enrollers will be on hand to help parents and guardians sign their children up for the health insurance they need. Families without a regular doctor also will receive information about where to go for ongoing pediatric primary care. At these back to school clinics, the department also will offer vaccines that provide protection against meningitis and HPV.
Appointments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis for vaccine sessions from Aug. 6 through Sept. 24. To schedule an appointment, call the Westchester County Department of Health immunization Action Program at 813-5000.
Parents and guardians, please remember to make sure your infant/child is up to date on all childhood immunizations, and don't forget flu shot. Vaccines offer the best protection against many childhood illnesses.
Remember that vaccines aren't just for kids. Adults need them too. Read the current recommended immunization schedules.
To obtain immunization records: Contact your health care provider to obtain copies of immunization records for vaccines given in New York, not the county or state. If you were not immunized at a Westchester County Department of Health clinic, then the county would not have your immunization records. If you were immunized at a county clinic, the health department maintains immunization records for seven years only.
If you are seeking immunization records to enroll in a school and are unable to locate these you may have to be re-immunized or take a blood test to provide proof of immunity.
If you need MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine to attend school, county health department clinics can provide it for you at no charge. Please call (914) 813-5000 for an appointment.