Several clinics offer free back-to-school vaccinations

Health care professionals stress importance of up-to-date immunizations

By Susan Parrish, Columbian education reporter

Published:

 

Certain vaccinations are required to attend school. Ensuring that children's immunizations are current is another back-to-school step for Clark County families. Health care professionals emphasize the importance of childhood immunizations to protect children's health.

If a disease outbreak occurs, children who are not fully immunized may be sent home from school. Most students in Washington have vaccinations needed to enter school. However, parents of 4.4 percent of K-12 students have chosen to exempt their children for religious or personal reasons, giving Washington one of the highest vaccine exemption rates in the nation.

In Clark County, the vaccine exemption rate is 6.3 percent.

"High exemption rates are concerning, because they increase the risk of disease in schools and day care," said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer. "This causes unnecessary illness and takes valuable time away from learning."

All vaccines required for school are free for youth up to age 19. Parents should call a health care provider to make an immunization appointment. Some providers may charge an administrative fee. Parents who can't afford the fee may ask to have it waived.

Families without a regular health care provider may call the clinics that offer free back-to-school vaccinations (see below). Families should bring the children's immunization records.

Free vaccinations for children

Free Clinic of SW Washington

• When: 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, and 5 to 7 p.m. every first and third Wednesday.

• Where: 4100 Plomondon St., Vancouver.

• Details: For uninsured children only; walk-ins, no appointment needed.

• Info: 360-313-1390.

Sea Mar Community Health Centers

• When: 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Aug. 13.

• Where: 7140 E. Delaware Lane, Vancouver.

• Details: Some adult vaccines available at no cost.

• Info: 360-566-4410; call for appointment.

Battle Ground High School

• When: 3 to 5:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22.

• Where: 400 W. Main St., Battle Ground.

• Details: Children only up to age 18.

• Info: 360-566-4410; call for appointment.

Lacamas Medical Group

• When: 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12.

• Where: 3240 N.E. Third Ave., Camas.

• Details: For grades 1-12; walk-in; no appointment needed.

• Info: 360-838-2440.

State requirements, more

For a list of vaccination requirements in Washington state, visit http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Schools/Immunization/VaccineRequirements

For additional information, see www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents and http://www.vaccineinformation.org