Failure to do so may impact a student’s ability to return to school in the fall
The Fairfax County Health Department is urgently requesting that families take immediate action to update immunizations required for their children to attend school in the fall. Failure to do so may impact a student’s ability to enroll.
“It is important not to wait until the last minute. Physician practices, Health Department clinics, and many other health care providers require appointments for immunizations. We urge all parents to get these scheduled immediately to make sure that the health care community can serve you before school starts,” said Shauna Severo, Director of Health Services Division, Fairfax County Health Department. “Do not put it off — due to the pandemic we will not be offering walk-in clinics, so it will be important to get an appointment for your child to get vaccinated as soon as possible!”
New school immunizations required for rising seventh graders and rising twelfth graders
The Virginia Department of Health updated school and day care minimum immunization requirements. Parents of rising 7th and 12th graders should be aware of the following new requirements effective July 1, 2021:
- Meningococcal Conjugate (MenACWY) Vaccine - The first dose should be administered prior to entering 7th grade. The final dose should be administered prior to entering 12th grade.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine - A complete series of two doses of HPV vaccine is required for students entering the 7th grade. The first dose shall be administered before the child enters the 7th grade.
Fairfax County Health Department offers special weekend and extended hours at clinics
Parents are urged to reach out to their pediatrician or family physician for a vaccine appointment for their child. If the family does not have a doctor, they are welcome to get immunized at a Health Department clinic. All clinics are offering extended evening hours on Tuesdays until 6:00 p.m. in order to accommodate parents. The clinics also have some weekend hours available. School immunizations are by appointment only — no walk-ins will be accepted. Parents can make an appointment by calling 703-246-7100 TTY 711. Please see the Health Department website for clinic locations.
“We know that parents are stretched thin, so we are making it as easy as possible with extended hours at our clinics,” said George Sweat, Assistant Director of Health Services, Fairfax County Health Department. “Staying up to date with vaccinations ensures the child is protected and prevents disease spread in our community.”
The Health Department encourages families to catch-up on routine medical care they might have missed during the pandemic. This includes physicals, dental appointments, vision screenings, routine vaccinations, and more. Make an appointment with your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, Health Department clinics offer health services. Please call 703-246-7100 TTY 711 for appointments, or visit the website for information.
Parents do not need to be present for their child’s vaccine appointment
Parents who are unable to bring their child to a vaccination clinic during the work day may send their child with a responsible adult who is over the age of 18 and can give permission for the vaccination on behalf of the parent. This might be a caregiver, babysitter, family member, or another trusted adult.
COVID-19 vaccination is available to adolescents 12 and older
The Pfizer vaccine, the only vaccine current available for adolescents aged 12 to 17 years of age, can be administered at the same time as with school vaccinations. While COVID-19 vaccine is not required for school, it will provide protection from the disease including the highly contagious delta variant. Ask your health care provider about scheduling the COVID-19 vaccine for your teen, or you can search for an appointment at vaccines.gov.
Resources for parents
Make an appointment for school immunizations at a Health Department Clinic by calling 703-246-7100 TTY 711. Clinics are located in Annandale, Herndon, Fairfax, Mount Vernon and Springfield. Standard hours are 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for most clinics, with extended hours on Tuesdays until 6:00 p.m. Some weekend appointments are available, call to inquire and make an appointment.