Back to School Means VAX to School

To help children keep healthy and in the classroom throughout the school year, the Westchester County Department of Health is reminding families that it’s time to book back-to-school vaccine visits with your child’s healthcare provider, or at our free back-to-school clinics.

Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, said: “It takes more than pens and pencils to be ready for school. Children should keep up or catch up with the vaccines recommended for their age and grade. To avoid serious illnesses that can cause children to skip school, miss sports, play dates and activities, families should schedule vaccine visits now. Vaccines protect your child, and they also protect infants and children around them who are too young to be vaccinated, or who cannot be vaccinated because of other medical conditions.”

For those without insurance, or who have Child Health Plus or Medicaid, the County Health Department can help. Besides school vaccines, the County also offers influenza vaccines for children ages six months and older.

Families with no insurance, ChildHealth Plus or Medicaid, should call the County Health Department to schedule an appointment for vaccines at no charge.  Call (914) 995-5800 to find out if you qualify and to secure a spot at the Health Department clinics, at 134 Court Street in White Plains or 20 South Broadway in Yonkers.

Appointments are available on Thursdays in Yonkers, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Fridays in White Plains, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Extended hours are available in Yonkers on Thursday, Sept 7 and 14, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and in White Plains on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Children must have their first dose of all required vaccinations within 14 days of the first day of school. Parents and guardians must show that they have made appointments for all required follow-up doses within 30 days of the start of school. Ask your healthcare provider which vaccines your children need. All 7th and 12th graders must get the meningococcal vaccine, and all students must be vaccinated against whooping cough, measles and mumps.

Health Navigators available through the Health Department can help families and individuals sign up for the health insurance they need. Those without a regular doctor can learn where to go for ongoing primary care. For more information, call (914) 995-6350.