School starts Aug. 26: Is your child ready?

Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department (SNCHD), located at 301 E.12th, encourages parents to make sure their children are up-to-date on immunizations. All students entering kindergarten are required to have two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine, and two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine; and all students entering seventh grade are required to have one dose of Tetanus and Diphtheria toxoids and acellular Pertussis vaccine (TDAP) vaccine, one dose of meningococcal vaccine, and two doses of varicella vaccine, unless the child has history of varicella disease (chickenpox), or documentation of varicella immunity.National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is observed during the month of August. On Wednesday, August 7, 14, and 21, the health department will focus on children going back to school. The health department will offer all required vaccines for children, plus the recommended human papillomavirus vaccine (HVP) and on Wednesday, Aug. 28, the health department will focus on babies and moms for a healthy start. The department will offer Tetanus and Diphtheria toxoids and acellular Pertussis vaccine (TDAP) for moms, and any adults that will be in contact with newborn baby that does not have private insurance, and all required vaccines for babies. The goal of NIAM is to increase awareness about the lifetime need for immunizations.  SNCHD will have another immunization fun day event on Wednesday, Aug. 21 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-4:30 p.m. SNCHD plans to make it a special day for the children. Each child receiving immunizations will receive a free t-shirt and have a chance to win one of three $10 McDonald’s gift cards. You do not have to be present to win. Buzzi the Bee, the immunization mascot, will be available to see the children from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Parents are asked to bring their child’s immunization record to the visit. Children with private health insurance need to be vaccinated by their physician unless their insurance does not pay for vaccines. The SNCHD encourages parents to call their insurance provider to find out if they cover the cost of vaccines. If not, the child can be vaccinated at the health department. There is a $6 administration fee per a child and Medicaid and CHIPS are accepted.Family Planning services are available through several funding sources. Services include pap smears, breast exams, pregnancy testing, methods of birth control and screening and testing for sexually transmitted diseases. For an appointment call 235-2869.For more information about the services offered at the health department, visit the health department's web site at Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age or sex.