Eastern Idaho Public Health to hold free childhood immunization clinic
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IDAHO FALLS — For children in need of immunizations, Eastern Idaho Public Health is providing a way to help.
Eastern Idaho Public Health canceled its annual free childhood immunization clinic in April due to COVID-19. They’ve since rescheduled and will be holding a free immunization clinic in June. It’s open to all children ages 18 years and younger who are in need of immunizations.
“During the last few months, we know that it’s been a concern for parents to adequately access all the care that they may have wanted, including vaccines,” Community Health Division Administrator James Corbett told EastIdahoNews.com. “For that reason, as well as this is an annual event that Eastern Idaho Public Health does for our community, we want to give parent’s the opportunity to access vaccines that are proven to help reduce vaccine-preventable diseases.”
Childhood vaccinations plummeted in mid-March after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The identified declines in routine pediatric vaccine ordering and doses administered might indicate that U.S. children and their communities face increased risks for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases,” the CDC said in a report.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has urged healthcare providers to schedule visits and clinics to catch up on childhood immunizations, according to an Eastern Idaho Public Health news release.
“EIPH is very aware of parental fears and concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and we can assure them we are taking the utmost of precautions to keep them and their families safe not just during this immunization clinic but across all the services we provide at our facility,” Eastern Idaho Public Health Director Geri Rackow said in a news release.
Specific precautions will be taken during the immunization clinic including:
- Screening for illness using a symptom questionnaire and temperature taking with a no-touch thermometer.
- Wearing cloth face coverings or masks (with the exception of infants to 2-year-olds). Face coverings will be provided if the participant does not bring their own.
- Meeting the families outside for paperwork and checking in to avoid excessive congestion in the lobby. They will only be allowing one adult to accompany the child(ren) into the clinic.
- Cleaning and sanitizing the vaccination room after each participant, plus sanitizing high touch areas of the building throughout the clinic.
- Having plentiful supplies of anti-bacterial available in the building and adhering to strict social distancing protocols throughout the process.
The free immunization clinic is on June 4 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 1250 Hollipark Drive, Idaho Falls. Foreign travel immunizations are not included in the clinic. There will be no out-of-pocket cost, but they will be billing insurance and Medicaid if a patient has it.
“That’s why we do this at least once a year because we never want cost to be a barrier for parents and families not to be able to get vaccinations for their children,” Eastern Idaho Public Health spokeswoman Mimi Taylor said.
Appointments are required. No walk-in appointments will be allowed for the safety of everyone involved.
Call (208) 533-3235 to schedule your appointment, and make sure to bring your immunization card with you.