Published: Aug 17, 2010 9:50 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 14, 2010 6:20 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - School starts soon and in order to attend, all students must be current on their immunizations.  The requirements have changed so parents need to check and verify their child is up-to-date on his/her immunizations.

Any student who will be new to the Lee County school system must verify they have received all the required immunizations.  For students entering kindergarten, first and second grade, a second vaccine for chicken pox (varicella) will now be required.  Also, students entering seventh or eighth grade need a Tdap tetanus booster.  Parents should also make sure their college-bound teenagers are up-to-date with required and recommended vaccines. If your child needs updated immunizations, get them soon since school starts August 23rd.

Students who do not have the required immunizations will be sent home from schools on the first day, August 23rd. In addition, they will not be able to ride the bus or participate in sports, band or other extracurricular activities until the school has the DH 680 form showing that the shots were received. 

These vaccinations are offered free of charge at the Lee County Health Department; 3920 Michigan Ave location, walk-ins welcome Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., and Friday 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Also, when you come in for back-to-school immunizations, don’t forget the H1N1 vaccination as well.  Individuals of all ages and health status are welcome; but children ages 6 months through young adults of 24 years are at high risk for flu complications and should make a priority of getting vaccinated. 

“It’s important to remind residents that H1N1 and seasonal flu are still around and the very best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get vaccinated,” said Judith A. Hartner, M.D., M.P.H., M.P.A., Director of the Lee County Health Department.

For more information, please contact the Lee County Health Department’s Office of Immunizations at 239-332-9601.