Local health officials will hold special clinics in Tallapoosa County throughout early July to provide back-to-school immunizations.
The East Central Public Health District is organizing the initiative in partnership with local health departments throughout eastern Alabama. The Tallapoosa County Department of Health will participate in the event next week along with 10 other counties.
Kevin Hicks, who is helping plan the health initiative, explained that the program launched as a way to help reduce wait times for child immunizations.
“We wanted to have these clinics throughout our eastern central district in order to accommodate and expedite the process so it is easier,” Hicks said. “It’s a great opportunity for families to get their children into our clinics prior to the start of school so they can take these required immunizations for entry into the public school system.”
Hicks added that the program will prevent a backlog of cases as families begin registering their children in Alabama’s public school system.
Alabama law requires all children to present an up-to-date Certificate of Immunization (COI) upon entrance to childcare centers and school. According to the requirement, when children are not vaccinated, they are at risk of disease and can spread diseases to others in their classrooms and communities.
“This is something to start thinking about now as opposed to waiting until July or August because a delay in these immunizations may also delay entry into the school system,” Hicks said.
Furthermore, Hicks noted getting vaccinated is important in providing protection from serious and sometimes deadly diseases. Some of the common vaccinations being offered include: Influenza, Varicella, Pertussis, Hepatitis A, Measles, Mumps and Meningococcal.
Child vaccinations follow an age-based schedule so the number of required vaccinations may vary for individual children and teenagers.
COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters will be available, but parents must make a separate request for those specific vaccinations.
The Tallapoosa County Department of Health will host the clinics at both their Alexander City and Dadeville offices, with the event being held in both June and July.
Appointments are preferred and encouraged, but are not necessary. Health officials also advise the public to bring any and all insurance cards if available. However, the ability to pay will not hinder vaccinations.
In addition to the special clinics where additional staff is present, vaccinations continue to be offered at all county health departments each day.
Tallapoosa County Health Department back-to-school immunizations dates:
Monday, July 11, 1-4 p.m.
Friday, July 8, 1-4 p.m.
Friday, July 22, 9 a.m.-12 noon