To Help Families Get Kids Vaccinated for Next School Year

The Allegheny County Health Department has scheduled a special weekend clinic in Natrona Heights on Saturday, May 30, to help families get their children vaccinated for the 2009-2010 school year.

The clinic will provide vaccine free of charge and be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Highlands Middle School, 1350 Broadview Boulevard.

The following vaccines required for next school year will be available: meningitis, chicken pox, and a combination vaccine called Tdap that prevents tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

A review of school vaccination records shows that countywide about one in five or around 30,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade lack documentation for one or more of these vaccines.

Schools will be required to exclude students at the start of the 2009-2010 school year that cannot document compliance with vaccination requirements, which apply to all public, private, parochial, cyber and home-schooled students in Allegheny County.

In addition to the special clinic in Natrona Heights on May 30, the Health Department’s vaccination clinic at 3441 Forbes Avenue in Oakland offers free vaccinations during its regular hours every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and every Wednesday from 1 to 8 p.m.

Students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, who should bring their child’s immunization records to the clinic.