Westchester hosting back to school vaccine clinic after religious exemptions repealed

YONKERS, Westchester County (WABC) -- The Westchester County Department of Health is hosting a free back-to-school vaccine clinic to assure children have the vaccines they need for school.

In June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation removing non-medical exemptions from school vaccine requirements for children who attend childcare programs or public, private or parochial schools through 12th grade.

"This will be the first school year for which there will be no religious exemptions to vaccinations in New York State," Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler said. "Parents should schedule vaccine visits with their healthcare provider as soon as possible to be sure their children have the vaccines they need to stay in school."

All children who do not have their required immunizations must have their first dose of vaccinations within 14 days from the first day of school, and parents and guardians of these children must show that they have made appointments for all required follow-up doses within 30 days of the start of school.

County officials say families with no insurance, ChildHealth Plus or Medicaid, should call the health department to schedule an appointment for vaccines at no charge.

Parents can call 914-995-5800 to find out if they qualify and to make appointments for one of the four special back-to-school clinics:
--Friday, Aug. 30, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in White Plains
--Tuesday, Sept. 3, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Yonkers

--Saturday, Sept. 7, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Yonkers
--Tuesday, Sept. 10, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in White Plains

In addition to these special clinics, the Westchester County Department of Health provides free immunizations by appointment in its White Plains and Yonkers clinics to eligible children and students of all ages who are uninsured or whose insurance does not cover vaccines.

Vaccine visits can be scheduled on the first and third Fridays in White Plains or on the second and fourth Fridays in Yonkers, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Health Department clinics are located at 20 S. Broadway in Yonkers and at 134 Court St. in White Plains.

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