Free vaccines for back-to-school

Written by Deon Guillory – bio | email

By Gene Petriello - bio | email
Posted by Iva Radman – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's almost back-to-school time and there's always a list of things to do to make sure your children are ready. One church wants to help you get your little ones ready before that first bell rings.

Your children need more than book bags and pencils to go back to school. They also need up-to-date vaccinations. That's the goal of the Back-to-School Community Immunity.

Several free clinics in Richmond are taking part in this annual event.

The vaccinations are for children up to 18 years old who are uninsured or on medicaid.

Without the required vaccinations, your child won't be able to start school on time.

Health experts say it all boils down to your child's safety.

The community immunity starts Friday morning at 8:30am and ends at 5pm at the Crossover Downtown, West and Sherbourne Locations.

In addition to the free shots, there are free physicals as well as dental screenings and eye exams.

One more thing: you will also need your child's vaccination record and you must be with your child so your little one can get a shot--you can't drop them off and then pick them up.

For families like Anthony Watson, this community immunity clinic is literally a lifesaver.

"It's a big benefit because of the economy and times we live in now. School supplies they supplied that and with the medical part too," says Watson. 

Those supplies, are all thanks to the community coming together to help those who need it the most.

Anthony's daughter Ashia and her cousin Mecca are feeling alright now after the shots they got. And ready for a new school year, thankful for all the free help today.

"It'd be terrible I couldn't get my education because I really like school!" says Mecca.

It's stories like that, that volunteer coordination Lyn Harding, is hearing from the dozens and dozens of families.

"It's neat to see the kids come and get the things they need to start school and offer the a little bit of hope," says Lyn.

This year, Lyn says she and her team are ready to help out about 500 kids. But, they have a backup plan if they run out today.

"We hope we won't run out. But,  if we do, we're going to try to schedule those children for a special vaccine clinic.

On his way out, ready to go home, Anthony summed it all up in three words: "Thank you all!"

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