Vaccines offered at school

Published 1:32 am Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Students can get up to date on shots next week

Parents who enjoyed the convenience of having their children get flu shots at school last fall will have the opportunity for their children to get additional vaccines when Health Heroes returns to all schools in Covington County on Thurs., March 14.

Health Heroes will administer:

• Tdap – Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis: Ages 11-12 (also 10 years old and entering 6th grade)

• HPV – Human Papillomavirus: Ages 11-12 with a second dose after 6 months

• MCV – Meningococcal ACWY: Ages 11-12 with a booster dose recommended at age 16

But the shots can’t be administered without a release form from parents.

Andalusia City Schools’ Melinda Carrasco said parents in the city system are asked to have permission forms returned by this Friday, and Covington County Schools’ head nurse Michelle Armstrong also said forms are due by Friday.

In Opp City Schools, head nurse Rita Drew said consent forms will go home on Monday, and must be returned by Wednesday.

“These will only go to children who are eligible for the immunization,” Drew said. “The form will show what they are due or what they are lacking.”

For instance, if a student is compliant with required immunizations until June of this year, but will need a Tdap in June, the school cannot allow the immunization to be administered early.

Andalusia City Schools’ Melinda Carrasco said, “Students entering the sixth grade will require an additional dose of TDAP (tetanus-diphtheria toxoid & acellular pertussis) vaccine. This law became effective 2010 and may be found in Rules of the State Board of Health, Chapter 420-6-1.03(a).”

If a child has Medicaid, All Kids, or private insurance, Health Heroes will bill the insurance company for the vaccine. If a child is uninsured, the vaccine will also be given free of charge.

Carrasco said the service is offered as a means to keep kids healthy, and for parents’ convenience.

“In the past, I have had so many parents trying to schedule appointments in the summer for updating immunizations and our local physicians get overloaded trying to update all of these students before the beginning of school,” Carrasco said. “I would like to encourage parents to either schedule their child’s appointment now with their physician or take part in this clinic so that 100 percent of our students are compliant with the law when enrolling for 6th grade. Any questions, please call me at 222-7569.”

Armstrong said immunization records will be double and triple checked to make sure students only receive the vaccinations needed.