Back-to-school vaccinations more important than ever, Parkland experts say
Parkland health centers offer immunizations at ‘Walk-in-Wednesday’ clinics DALLAS — Even though summer is in full swing, educators across Dallas County are preparing for students to return to the classroom in August. Topping the list of preparations is ensuring that children have the proper immunizations before the class bell chimes. “Vaccines are one of the […]
Parkland health centers offer immunizations at ‘Walk-in-Wednesday’ clinics
DALLAS — Even though summer is in full swing, educators across Dallas County are preparing for students to return to the classroom in August. Topping the list of preparations is ensuring that children have the proper immunizations before the class bell chimes.
“Vaccines are one of the most important steps you can take to protect the health of your child,” said Cesar Termulo, MD, Associate Medical Director for Community Oriented Primary Care’s central and east regions. “I understand that since the pandemic started there is vaccination fatigue, and the uptake of certain vaccines seems to have decreased. But vaccines keep children healthy by preventing infectious diseases. Children miss fewer days of school and parents miss fewer days of work. When parents do not vaccinate their children, they put everyone at risk – their own children, their classmates and their teachers – for diseases that are easily prevented but that can be devastating.”
In Texas, before entering kindergarten, children are required to have been vaccinated for Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis; Polio; Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR); Hepatitis B; Varicella; and Hepatitis A. Children in daycare must also be vaccinated. For older students, a Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis booster and Meningococcal vaccines are required for school.
If they haven’t done so already, Parkland providers are also urging parents to make sure their children are vaccinated against COVID-19.
“A vaccination is still the best way to prevent an individual from getting a severe case of COVID-19 and to help reduce the spread of the virus,” said Joseph Chang, MD, Parkland’s Chief Medical Officer.
By logging in to the MyChart account, parents can schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for their children at one of the COPC vaccine sites. Individuals who do not have a MyChart account can either sign up for one online at http://mychart.parklandhealth.org or call 214-590-7000 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Saturday to schedule an appointment. COVID vaccinations are not available in the Parkland ER.
Parents can bring their children for immunizations on Wednesdays without having to make an appointment to one of Parkland’s COPC health centers or Youth & Family centers located throughout Dallas County to take advantage of convenient access to immunizations on “Walk-in Wednesdays.” Immunizations during Walk-in-Wednesdays are available at Parkland’s network of COPC health centers from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m., except for the following locations:
- Bluitt-Flowers Health Center, 303 E. Overton Road, Dallas, 75216, from 9 to 11 a.m., and 1 to 3:30 p.m.
- Southeast Dallas Health Center, 9202 Elam Road, Dallas, 75217, 9 to 11 a.m., and 1 to 3 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 Parkland COPC health center, please call 214-266-4000. To schedule an appointment at a Youth & Family Center, please call 214-266-1257.
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. In addition, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program may be able to help. The VFC program provides vaccines for children ages 18 years and younger, who are uninsured or underinsured, Medicaid-eligible, or American Indian or Alaska Native.
For more information about services available at Parkland, visit www.parklandhealth.org. For more information on the VCF program visit www.cdc.gov/features/vfcprogram/.