SARASOTA COUNTY – With local schools scheduled to resume Aug. 18, Sarasota County public health and school officials remind parents to get their child’s immunizations updated now.
Parents of children who will be entering schools in Sarasota County for the first time must provide the school office with a completed Florida Certification of Immunization (DH 680).
Available through health care providers or at the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (formerly known as the Sarasota County Health Department), with locations in Sarasota and North Port, this is the official record showing that school-age children have had all the immunizations needed for their grade level.
By the time a child starts school, he/she should have already had a number of required immunizations. However, proof of updates, boosters and series completion is required to enter Sarasota County Schools for the first time and to advance to some grade levels.
Listed below is the total number of doses of each required vaccine for which proof of immunization is needed.
FLORIDA IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE
(Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis)
(Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
(Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis)
*Only 4 doses required if last dose is given after fourth birthday; At least one dose must be administered after the fourth birthday.
** Two doses are required for K-6 (but recommended for all grades)
“Let’s all have a great start to the school year. Compare your child’s immunization record with the immunization requirements, and also remember to get the influenza vaccine at the beginning of flu season,” said Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH-Sarasota) School Health Supervisor Linda Glover, a registered nurse.
Children entering seventh grade in August must have proof they received a tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis booster (TDaP) within the past five years. Parents also should make sure their college-bound teenagers have up-to-date required and recommended vaccines,which usually include the meningococcal (meningitis) and HPV vaccines. Updating a child’s immunizations now allows parents to avoid any possible wait in early and mid-August.
The registrar must be at the school to process the DH 680 forms. While some school staff members work year-round, the majority of Sarasota County School District school registrars will return to work July 24. According to school officials, schools will be closed all Fridays from June 6 – Aug. 8 and will return to normal hours Aug. 11.
“Bring your student’s DH 680 form to the school as soon as you can so your child’s first day of school will be a positive experience,” said Glover.
Students who do not have the required immunizations will be sent home from public schools on the first day, Aug. 18. In addition, they will not be able to ride the bus or participate in sports, band or other extracurricular activities until the school has the DH 680 form showing that they received the required immunizations.
The DOH-Sarasota, through the federally funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, offers immunizations to eligiblechildren at no cost. No appointment is needed. A parent or legal guardian must be present, and must bring prior shot records. Immunizations are also available free of charge to children with insurance. Please bring your insurance card information. Immunizations for children are available at the following locations:
William L. Little Health and Human Services Center
For more information, contact a health care provider or the DOH-Sarasota’s Office of School Health at 941-927-9000, ext. 32101. For a complete shot schedule, visit the Sarasota County School District’s health website http://www.sarasota.k12.fl.us/schoolhealth.