Manatee students can avoid August immunization rush

The Florida Department of Health in Manatee is offering free back-to-school vaccinations for students who need them over the next few weeks ahead of school starting Aug. 10.

The DOH is offering school physicals also ahead of the first day of school for $30.

Returning students should have already completed the required vaccine series but new and transferring students and kindergarten students will have to show proof of immunization before they can be enrolled in school, said Dr. Jennifer Bencie, administrator of DOH-Manatee.

“There is always a rush by parents getting last minute immunizations before school starts, but parents can get it done in a more leisurely fashion all during the month of July,” Bencie said Wednesday.

“We encourages parents to have their children immunized now and avoid the immunization rush,” Bencie added.

DOH-Manatee will immunize students from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, at 410 Sixth Ave. E., Bradenton.

You can make an appointment by calling 941-748-0747, ext. 1269, but walk-ins are always welcome, Bencie said.

Vaccines help develop immunity to countless infectious diseases by enabling the body to recognize and fight vaccine-preventable diseases, Bencie said.

“Back-to-school vaccinations are an important way to protect children and families from the spread of serious infectious diseases,” Bencie said. “I encourage parents to review their children’s vaccine records and requirements, and if needed, to contact DOH-Manatee staff and schedule vaccine appointments as soon as possible.”

The free immunizations services are for eligible children, birth – 18 years of age, enrolled in elementary, middle or high school, said Adam DuBois, a DOH, Manatee spokesman.

Students who are preparing to leave for college should also review their immunization records to be sure they are up to date, DuBois added.

The $30 per child school physicals come with vaccines, DuBois said.

Richard Dymond: 941-745-7072, @RichardDymond

Childhood Immunization Requirements

Florida Certificate of Immunization, Form DH 680 is the only document that the schools are permitted to accept as proof of immunization.

  • Kindergarten - 12th Grade
  • Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (DTaP) – 5 doses Polio (IPV) – 4 doses (the last one after age 4)
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) – 2 doses
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B) – 3 doses
  • Kindergarten to 7th Grade
  • Varicella – 2 doses or provider verification of Chickenpox disease history on form DH 680
  • 8th - 12th Grade:
  • Varicella – 1 dose or provider verification of Chickenpox disease history on form DH 680
  • 7th -12th Grades (entry or repeating, if not given previously)
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria & Pertussis booster (Tdap) – 1 dose
    • Information from Florida Department of Health, Manatee