August is National Immunization Month and with school starting in just a few days, the Knox County Health Department (KCHD) is encouraging parents to ensure their child is up to date on immunizations.
Because KCHD expects a back-to-school rush for required student vaccines, KCHD will offer extended hours at its clinics to better accommodate parents seeking back-to-school vaccinations for their children.
To make an appointment, call KCHD’s Travel and Immunization Clinic (TIC) at 865-215-5070 or the West Clinic at 865-215-5950. A parent/guardian’s photo ID, insurance card and child’s vaccination records are required for the appointment.
“We want to make this process as convenient and easy for parents as possible, who we know are especially busy this time of year,” said KCHD Director of Nursing Dena Mashburn. “We encourage parents to make an appointment with their child’s physician or our staff as soon as possible if they haven’t already.”
A list of the required vaccinations by grade level is available on KCHD’s website: knoxcounty.org/health. Before the first day of school, parents must also provide their child’s school with a state immunization certificate, which documents receipt of the vaccinations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics and numerous other national medical organizations say immunizations are vital in protecting children from potentially serious diseases. The CDC estimates vaccination of children born between 1994 and 2018 will prevent more than 26 million hospitalizations, 936,000 deaths and save nearly $1.9 trillion in total societal costs. More information and recommendations for parents can be found at Healthychildren.org.