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Health Dept. urges parents to get children immunized -Don't wait until the last minute for mandatory back to school immunizations- 

The Collier County Health Department encourages all parents and caregivers to check the immunization status and school requirements for their children.

As children and families across Collier County prepare to start another school year, it is vital that all students have their required immunizations. Immunization documentation on a DOH Form 680, Certification of Immunization, is required for all students in grades pre-Kindergarten (K) through 12.

"We encourage everyone to get your children up-to-date with their immunizations and not wait for the school rush," states Dr. Joan Colfer, Director of the Collier County Health Department. "There is no time like the present to update children's immunizations and provide them with the required documentation to attend school."

Colfer reminds, "Immunizations protect your child as well as his or her siblings, playmates and classmates from a variety of childhood illnesses including: Whooping Cough, Polio, Chickenpox, Measles, Mumps, Tetanus and Hepatitis. Immunizations are one of the most important steps parents can take for the health of their children."

The Health Department in Immokalee (419 1st Street North) offers free immunizations for children through 18 years of age. Clinic hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are not necessary. For questions, please call 239-252-7300.

Documentation for required immunizations is mandatory for all students entering, attending, or transferring into a Florida school in grades pre-Kindergarten (K) through 12 as detailed in the Immunization Guidelines for Florida Schools, Childcare Facilities, and Family Daycare Homes.

A 2012-2013 flyer outlining school requirements is available here. The Bureau of Immunization launched their new website www.immunizeflorida.com to bring together the best resources on vaccines and provide consumers with easy-to-understand vaccination information.

The Department of Health (DOH) Online Newsroom has additional tools on immunization including an Ask the Expert video with Chuck Alexander and a public service announcement for parents called "Get On Board" which encourages school-aged children to get their immunizations in time for back to school.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For news story ideas, interviews, videos and more from DOH Communications visit the DOH Online Newsroom.