Education

Your kids still need school shots? Don’t miss these chances to get them for free

Kindergarten teacher Naomi Foster holds Latasha Johnson as she gets an H1N1 flu shot at Gorenflo Elementary. The Mississippi State Department of Health reminds parents that state law requires kids to be immunized against childhood diseases in order to enter public or private school, Head Start or day care.
Kindergarten teacher Naomi Foster holds Latasha Johnson as she gets an H1N1 flu shot at Gorenflo Elementary. The Mississippi State Department of Health reminds parents that state law requires kids to be immunized against childhood diseases in order to enter public or private school, Head Start or day care. Sun Herald File

If the start of school has crept up on you and your children still need immunizations, then you will not want to miss a free event Saturday. But if you can’t make it, you can also get your child immunized Monday and Tuesday.

The Biloxi Excel By 5 Immunization Fair on Saturday, July 22, is for all school-aged children in South Mississippi. The fair will offer full-service, school-aged immunizations from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Coastal Family Health Center, 715 Division St., Biloxi. Also Saturday, students can receive dental, hearing, vision, speech and language development screenings. A Child Safety Awareness Fair will be held from 8 a.m. to noon, covering police, fire, boat, bus, bicycle and other safety topics.

Immunizations only will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, July 24-25, at Lopez School, 140 St. John, Biloxi.

Schools begin opening in South Mississippi on Aug. 3, while several districts, including Biloxi, open to students Aug. 4. Other Coast districts return Aug. 7 and 8.

To receive immunizations or to obtain a Certificate of Immunization Compliance (Form 121), please bring these documents: insurance card, photo ID and a current shot record. Parents are required to provide the form to the school.

The fair is being made possible by several community and health agency sponsors.

Details: Susan Hunt, 228-297-6808 or susan.hunt@biloxischools.net.

Mississippi law requires students to be immunized against childhood diseases to enter public or private school, Head Start or daycare.

According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, the required vaccinations for children entering school in Mississippi for the first time include: diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP); polio (IPV); hepatitis B; measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); and varicella (chickenpox). Students entering seventh grade are required to receive the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccination.

In addition, human papillomavirus vaccination (HPV) and a meningococcal vaccination (MCV4) are recommended for adolescents 11 to 15 years of age, and a meningococcal vaccination (MCV4) is recommended at age 16 to 18 years.

Details on immunization requirements or medical exemptions for school entry, can be found at www.HealthyMS.com/immunizations.

Public school start dates for 2017-18

Aug. 3:

Bay-Waveland

Jackson County

Aug. 4:

Biloxi

Hancock County

Long Beach

Moss Point

Ocean Springs

Pascagoula-Gautier

Pass Christian

Aug. 7:

Gulfport, sixth-graders

Aug. 8:

Gulfport (other than sixth-graders, who start Aug. 7)

Harrison County

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