WHITE PLAINS, NY --Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino announced that to help families prepare for a new school year, the health department will offer free immunizations to children who are uninsured or whose insurance doesn’t cover vaccines.
The vaccines will be available by appointment on Fridays in August and September at health department clinics in White Plains and Yonkers.
“To help your children get the most out of school, they need to be in school,” Astorino said. “Vaccines help children stay healthy throughout the school year. Summer seems to fly by, so now is a good time to schedule those back-to-school checkups.”
During the county’s back to school vaccine clinics, health Navigators will be on hand to help parents and guardians sign their children up for the health insurance they need. Families without a regular doctor also will receive information about where to go for ongoing pediatric primary care.
Appointments will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis for vaccine clinic sessions scheduled through September 25 at the Westchester County Department of Health clinics in Yonkers and White Plains.
To schedule an appointment for school vaccines at the health department clinic in Yonkers at 20 S. Broadway, call (914) 231-2500. The dates are as follows:
- Friday, Aug. 28, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 11, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 25, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
To schedule an appointment for school vaccines at the health department clinic in White Plains at 134 Court Street, call (914) 995-5800. The dates are as follows:
- Friday, Aug. 21, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 18, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, emphasized the importance of measles vaccination.
“Immunizing your children on time against vaccine-preventable diseases like measles is critical,” she said.
Since January, 178 people of all ages have been diagnosed with measles nationwide, and a woman in Washington State died of this disease on July 2, the first measles-related death in 12 years.
Measles is highly contagious even before the rash starts and is easily spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. If you're not protected, you can get measles just by walking into a room where someone with the disease has been in the past couple of hours.
Children should be vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine, with the first dose between 12 and 15 months and the second at four-to-six years. Adults born after 1956 should have at least one measles vaccination; some people need two.
Regulations for school admissions require schools to more closely scrutinize children’s immunization records and could result in a child not being allowed to start or continue in school if immunizations are not current. These updated regulations provide increased protection against illnesses like whooping cough that have been reported in school aged children in Westchester, as well as measles and mumps, which have had recent outbreaks.