News Release

June 1, 2005


HDHHS urges immunization appointments in early summer

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) encourages parents to schedule immunization appointments for their children now to avoid long lines at the end of summer.Since most pediatricians are completely booked in July and August with school physicals and immunizations, HDHHS recommends that parents take their children – especially babies and infants – to their family physician as early as possible this summer. The recommendation applies to all children, whether they obtain immunizations from private medical providers or HDHHS health centers.Babies and infants make up the main target of HDHHS’ immunization efforts since children need to receive 80 percent of the vaccinations they will need in their lifetime by age 2. Children are most susceptible to contagious and deadly diseases from birth to 2 years of age because they have yet to develop the antibodies necessary to fight off diseases. To concentrate timely immunizations for children age 3 and under, HDHHS will no longer conduct August back-to-school immunization clinics at local shopping malls. More than 80 percent of those vaccinated at the malls were older children and adolescents, reducing the number of immunization slots for those 3 and younger.Only parents of children age 3 and younger will have the option of making appointments or continuing immunizations on a walk-in basis at HDHHS health centers. Parents can schedule immunization appointments by calling HDHHS at 713-794-9999.

HDHHS offers vaccines on a sliding scale basis to those who have no other source of medical care. The vaccines scale ranges from free to $15 per child.