Free back-to-school vaccinations available in Phoenix on Saturday

Jul 31, 2018, 4:24 AM

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — With school starting up again, the Phoenix Fire Department is providing free vaccinations for uninsured and underinsured children this weekend.

Kids up to 18 years old who are uninsured, covered through KidsCare or eligible for Medicaid can participate in the department’s Baby Shots program.

The vaccinations will be given Saturday at two locations, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Maryvale Community Center (442 N. 51st Ave.) and from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Ranch Market (1602 E. Roosevelt St.).

Parents are asked to bring their kids’ shot records.

The federal Vaccines for Children Program provides the vaccines for Baby Shots.

The vaccinations provide protection against 14 childhood diseases: measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, pneumococcus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rotavirus, meningococcal disease, human papaloma virus and varicella.

Most of the firefighters and nurses at the clinics will be bilingual, and printed materials will be available in Spanish and English.

More information about the program, including a schedule for other free clinics, can by found on the city’s website or by calling 602-534-BABY (2229).

A study released in June flagged Phoenix as a hot spot for potential outbreaks of preventable diseases. Arizona is one of 18 states that allow parents to opt their kids out of vaccinations for personal or philosophical beliefs.

The study found that 2,947 kindergarten students in Maricopa County weren’t vaccinated because of nonmedical exemptions in 2016-17. That was more than triple the amount of the next highest metropolitan area, Salt Lake City.

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Free back-to-school vaccinations available in Phoenix on Saturday