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Don't Procrastinate, Vaccinate

Post Date:08/05/2017 8:57 PM

The Florida Department of Health in Clay encourages parents to have their children immunized as the new school year approaches. Local county health departments statewide are 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.

Heather Huffman, MS, RDN, LD/N, IBCLC Health Department Administrator shares that vaccine-preventable disease rates in the United States have historically been low.  Recent resurgence of some vaccine-preventable diseases such as pertussis, expanded recommendations for influenza vaccination and HPV vaccination, and gaps in sustainable immunization efforts highlight the continuing need for immunization. Viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable disease and death still exist and can be passed on to unprotected persons or imported from other countries.

Immunization services are available at the Bear Run Clinic, 3229 Bear Run Blvd. Orange Park, Monday through Friday 8 am to 11 am and 1 pm to 4 pm.  These are walk-in services and no appointment is needed.

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

Florida SHOTS is a free, statewide, centralized online immunization registry that helps health care providers, parents, and schools keep track of immunization records to ensure that patients of all ages receive the vaccinations needed to protect them from dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases. Florida SHOTS makes it easier to keep up with your child’s immunization history—even when moving or switching doctors. The registry is endorsed by the Florida Academy of Family Physicians, Florida Association of Health Plans, Inc., Florida Medical Association, Florida Osteopathic Medical Association, and the Florida Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics.

If your child is due for a vaccine, please visit your family health care provider or one of our health department clinics. Visit to learn more about immunizations your child may need or call your local county health department to find out locations and times for immunization services available near you.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit