June 20, 2005
HDHHS temporarily shifts all immunizations to health centersThe Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) will conduct all immunizations services at city health centers. From July 18 to August 19, parents who take their children for immunizations to any of the six community sites should go instead to their nearest HDHHS health center.
HDHHS recommends that parents who have not scheduled immunization appointments for their children do so immediately to try to avoid long lines at the end of summer when most pediatricians are completely booked with school physicals and immunizations. 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.
Walk-in immunizations will only be available for children 3 and under. Appointments will need to be made for all other age groups. 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.
- end -