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THD advises visiting immunization clinics early to avoid back-to-school rush

Posted at 1:00 PM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 14:00:47-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Health Department is reminding parents of children entering kindergarten or the 7th grade this year that now is the time to visit immunization clinics to avoid the back-to-school rush that starts every year in August.

To help clients during this busy time, THD is launching a new online portal to schedule a child’s immunization appointment. Walk-ins are not accepted this year.

THD Chief of Preventive Health Services Priscilla Haynes gave this statement:

“The immunization clinics get very busy as the first day of school approaches. We encourage families to immunize their children now while there is little to no wait time in the clinics. Immunizations are one of the best ways to protect the health of your child against vaccine-preventable diseases. The new online scheduling portal makes it convenient for busy families to schedule their vaccine appointment with ease.”

While THD is still encouraging everyone age 12 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine, children also need immunizations for school, especially since many families may not have been able to receive their shots last year.

Nationwide, there was a 14% decline in immunization doses administered in 2020, according to the CDC, with measles vaccinations declining the most. In Oklahoma, there was a 13% drop in childhood vaccine orders and a 20% decline in adolescents vaccine orders in 2020.

It is recommended that children have routine vaccinations due after they reach age four.

THD also encourages anyone who is moving into a college dorm or other residence this fall to consider taking charge of their health and get all their vaccinations.

All children age 17 and younger are required to have a parent or legal guardian with them at the time of vaccination. The legal guardian must bring paperwork showing their guardianship status. Masks are required for everyone age two and older in THD vaccine clinics.

At this time, there are no new immunization requirements for the 2021-2022 school year. THD provides immunizations according to the Oklahoma school requirements, CDC recommendations, and the childhood and adolescent immunization schedule.

Children transferring into Oklahoma schools from other states may need the hepatitis A vaccine. This vaccine is not required for all states; however, two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine are required for all Oklahoma students in grades kindergarten through twelve. Parents are advised to bring their child’s most recent vaccination record.

Children through age 18 years are eligible to receive vaccines at no charge through the Vaccine for Children program if any of the following apply:

  • they have Medicaid
  • they are uninsured
  • Native American Indian or Native Alaskan
  • their insurance policy does not cover vaccines.

Back-to-school immunizations are offered at a low cost and no one gets turned away due to inability to pay. THD also accepts the following health insurance:

  • Medicaid
  • SoonerCare
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Community Care
  • Health Choice
  • Cigna
  • Medicare

It is recommended to check with your insurance company to verify coverage for requested vaccines.

Immunizations are available by appointment only at the following THD locations. Shot record requests can also be made in person at any of the clinic times and locations listed below, by phone at 918-582-9355 or online.

James O. Goodwin Health Center | 5051 S. 129th E. Ave.

  • 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
  • Closed for lunch from 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Central Regional Health Center |315 S. Utica

  • 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
  • Closed for lunch from 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

North Regional Health and Wellness Center | 5635 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

  • 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Wednesday
  • 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Thursday & Friday
  • Closed for lunch from 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Sand Springs Health Center | 306 E. Broadway

  • 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
  • Closed for lunch from 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

For more information about immunization clinics and state immunization requirements please visit THD's website or call 918-582-WELL (9355).

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