Fairfax County Public Schools reminds parents that Virginia law requires school children to meet specific minimum immunization requirements to enter school. The Fairfax County Health Department offers free immunizations for all children at its five District Office clinics, and will be open extended hours on Friday, Aug. 31. Students begin the 2007-08 school year in Fairfax County on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Complying with the regulation protects the vaccinated child as well as the general public from specific vaccine-preventable diseases and from disease complications.
This year, all children entering sixth grade are required to get a booster Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine. Exceptions are made only for children who cannot be vaccinated for a medical reason.
Sixth graders need a Tdap booster since a child’s immunity to tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis — also known as whooping cough — declines over time after vaccination in early childhood. Sixth grade students cannot begin school without documentation of having had the Tdap booster or having had a tetanus-containing vaccine within the past five years.
Fairfax County Health Department District Office clinics will offer extended hours from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31. All Health Department District Office clinics have walk-in hours; however, for the fastest service and shortest wait, parents should call ahead to make an appointment.
Walk-in clinic hours for all locations are Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to noon except Friday, Aug. 31, when extended walk-in hours are offered from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local clinic locations and phone numbers are: Falls Church: 6245 Leesburg Pike, Suite 500, 703-534-8343; Herndon-Reston: 1850 Cameron Glen Dr., Suite 100, Reston, 703-481-4242.
Parents also can call their child’s pediatrician or other child health care provider to receive the necessary immunizations.
The recommended schedule for all childhood immunizations is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd/immun/immunchild.htm.