Although it may feel as if summer just got started, the calendar says it’s only a few weeks until kids will be heading back to school. And as parents prepare for the upcoming year, now is also the time to make sure their youngster’s immunizations are up to date.

If immunizations are needed, parents are encouraged to bring their children to one of Parkland Health’s Community Oriented Primary Care health centers located throughout Dallas County. This year the health centers once again will be offering immunizations on “Walk-in Wednesdays.” Parents can bring their children for immunizations without having to make an appointment on Wednesdays.

Immunizations during Walk-in-Wednesdays are given from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents can still walk in with their children for vaccinations on other days, but appointments are recommended. Parents are asked to bring their child’s shot records to the clinic. To schedule an appointment for your child at a COPC health center, please call 214-266-4000.

The World Health Organization reports that each year vaccines prevent more than 2.5 million child deaths globally. An additional 2 million child deaths could be prevented each year through immunizations with currently available vaccines.

“Vaccines are one of the most important steps you can take to ensure the health of your child,” said Cesar Termulo, MD, pediatrician and Associate Medical Director of Population Health at Parkland. “Vaccines keep children healthy by preventing disease. When children are healthy, parents and children win. Children miss fewer days of school and parents miss fewer days of work.”

Children in Texas are required to have been vaccinated for nine communicable diseases before entering kindergarten through 12th grade. The required vaccinations include: Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis; Polio; Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR); Hepatitis B; Varicella; Meningococcal; and Hepatitis A. Children in daycare must also be vaccinated.

“When the flu shots become available we recommend they receive those as well,” Dr. Termulo said. “In addition, national healthcare experts are predicting a resurgence of COVID in the fall and are recommending that everyone be vaccinated.”

Parkland accepts Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and most major insurance plans. If you do not have insurance, Parkland can provide financial screening to determine if patients qualify for financial assistance.