With August just around the corner, it’s time for most families to start making back-to-school plans. Topping that list, Parkland Health & Hospital System officials say, is ensuring your child’s immunizations are up to date. If not, your little one may not be allowed to start school on time.
Through its “Walk-in Wednesday” program, Parkland is making it easier for parents to get their children the immunizations required by the state. On any Wednesday, beginning July 23, parents can bring children to one of Parkland’s Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) health centers or Youth & Family Centers for their vaccinations without an appointment. Parkland’s neighborhood health centers are located throughout Dallas County.
Immunizations during Walk-in-Wednesdays will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parents can still walk in with their children for vaccinations on other days, but appointments are recommended. To schedule an appointment for your child at a COPC health center, please call 214.266.4000. To schedule an appointment at a Youth & Family Center, please call 214.266.1257.
“Vaccines don’t just protect individuals; they protect entire communities. By receiving a vaccination, you are helping to protect those around you from communicable diseases,” said Jessica Hernandez, Parkland’s Senior Vice President of Operations, COPC.
And, parents should not wait until the last minute.
“We offer Walk-in Wednesdays to make it easier for parents to get their children’s immunizations well in advance of the first day of school,” Hernandez said. “But the health centers are ready to assist parents on other days as well.”
Children in Texas are required to have been vaccinated for nine communicable diseases before entering kindergarten through 12th grades. The required vaccinations are: Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis; Polio; Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR); Hepatitis B; Varicella; Meningococcal; and Hepatitis A. Children in day care must also be vaccinated. And don’t forget about older children – especially those in 7th and 8th grades – who may need new or booster shots. Parkland recommends and provides the HPV (human papilloma vaccine) for this age group, as well.
Parkland accepts Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and most major insurance plans. If you do not have insurance, Parkland can provide financial screening to determine if patients qualify for financial assistance.
To find the Parkland COPC health center nearest you, please visit www.parklandhospital.com/locations.