The Frederick County Health Department offers free vaccines for children 18 and under.
Frederick, Md. (KM). School bells will be ringing soon in Frederick County. In fact, the first day of classes is Tuesday, September 5th. The Health Department reminds parents to make sure their children have their required vaccinations before heading off to class.
Kelly Smith, the immunization co-coordinator for the Communicable Disease Division of the Health Department, notes that three years ago, 7th graders were required to have the TDaP vaccine before going to school which protects them from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis or whooping cough. “Right now, those 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th graders that are new, just starting school, must have a single dose of that TDaP and that meningitis vaccine,” says Smith.
She also says children entering the primary grades need two dose of the vaccine against Varicella, or chickenpox. “It’s any student starting kindergarten, first, second and third grades,” says Smith.
These vaccinations are not only necessary to protect the children from these illnesses, but those around them who have not been vaccinated. “So it’s actually giving what we call herd protection. It’s protecting everybody, but it’s also protecting children as well,” says Smith.
Parents can get these vaccinations through their family physician or health care provider. The Health Department also provides free vaccinations for children up to 18-years of age. Please call 301-600-3342 to make an appointment. The times for the appointments are Wednesdays between 8:30 AM and 3:30 PM.
She says students are required by state law to have their vaccines before they start school. Parents can contact the local Health Department for more information. “They also need to have a well child checkup. So important. It doesn’t matter how old you are. That check once a year is really,really good. And we want them to do that. We want them to develop that relationship with their doctor,” Smith says.
By Kevin McManus