The countdown is on at the Immunizations Clinic of the Lee County Health Department - five weeks until school starts again and only three weeks until the number of children needing required vaccinations quadruples.
Children who are not properly vaccinated are not allowed in Florida schools for the first time or back in school until their immunizations are up to date.
Annually, large numbers of parents wait until the weeks before school starts to get their children's vaccines back on schedule.
"It's best to make vaccinating your children a priority during their birth month," Kim White, immunizations manager, said. "Call your private provider today for an appointment or drop into the health department any weekday of the month."
Starting in July, the number of children getting back to school vaccinations will increase dramatically until the second week of school, White said. On the first day of school, families will be lined up in the parking lot with more than 100 children getting vaccines each day.
Free required vaccines are available for children through 18 years old at the Lee County Health Department, at 3920 Michigan Ave., in Fort Myers. Hours for the Immunizations Department are Monday-Thursday, from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and Friday from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
Adult shots are available at the health department for a fee.
Whether getting adult or child immunizations, clients need to bring all shot records when intending to get vaccinations.
The health department also provides Shots for Tots outreach for children as follows:
- Today, July 18: Lee County Health Department, at 83 Pondella Road, North Fort Myers, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.