By Sharon Aron Baron
One-third of parents in the US are choosing to delay vaccinations for their children, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics.
Broward Health Community Health Services wants to help by extending its Mobilize to Immunize program to offer free immunizations and low-cost physical exams at two community health centers through November 27.
Typically, this summer health campaign provides immunizations free of charge for families with children heading back to school. However, due to the pandemic’s surge in infection rates and delayed return to the classroom, Mobilize to Immunize has extended its care for children between the ages of 4 and 18 who are uninsured, have Medicaid, or identify as American Indian or Alaska Native.
“We’ve seen a significant drop in the number of immunizations we’ve been able to provide this year,” said Margaret Lott, M.D., pediatrics, Broward Health Physician Group. “The importance of an annual physical and immunizing your child is something parents cannot ignore. We must continue to safeguard their health and well-being.”
Broward Health Community Health Services caregivers will provide immunizations against infectious and life-threatening diseases such as whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, Hepatitis B, and polio. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations will also be provided in partnership with the American Cancer Society.
“Immunizations prevent dangerous diseases and, in many cases, lifesaving care to some of our most vulnerable children,” said Dr. Lott.
According to the Florida Department of Health, even if children are home-schooled or are distance-learning through virtual classrooms at home, the state requires documented age-appropriate immunizations.
Ensuring that immunization services are maintained or reinitiated is essential for protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks and reducing the burden of respiratory illness during the influenza season.
Free immunizations and $30 school physicals are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. through November 27 at Cora E. Braynon Family Health Center, 200 NW Seventh Ave. in Fort Lauderdale, and Broward Health Pompano Pediatric Primary Care Center, 601 W. Atlantic Blvd. in Pompano Beach.
To better meet the South Florida community’s needs, Spanish and Creole communications are available, with additional translation services accessible.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 954-755-7400 or visit BrowardHealth.org.
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