http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/276521

Free health assessments and immunizations for students

Posted Jul 26, 2009 by Nikki Weingartner
Back-to-school means different things for different families in America. When it comes to required immunizations, many have a difficult time paying for the mandatory services. It is that time again: free immunizations and health screenings.
The time to send the children back to school is just around the corner and for many, that means school shopping for clothes, supplies and accessories. But for a nation struggling with a whopping number of jobless individuals and serious economic issues, even the basic health requirements may not be easy to come by for some Americans.
Every year, organizations across Texas designate August as a time lend a hand to those in need by hosting health fairs that offer free health screenings, school supplies and immunizations. August seems to be the time when preventative healthcare needs seem to be most prevalent as a new school-year is beginning.
Yesterday, a Houston, Texas area mall served as the "one-stop shopping" source for free health screenings, including dental, giving area residents a chance to have certain tests they would not otherwise be able to afford. According to a Houston news article, the Harris County Hospital District's Troubleshooters Program has arranged over twenty free immunization clinics between now and the end of August where local residents can obtain necessary immunizations, including back-to-school shots.
In Victoria, Texas, the area Rotary Club is hosting its 16th annual health fair and free immunization clinic for Texans and their children known as the "Wellness Roundup." A coalition of health care professionals will once again come together to provide many services that area residents have not been able to receive for one reason or another, albeit funding or healthcare issues. Just this year, the Texas Department of State Health Services notified schools of recent changes to the mandatory immunization schedules, including a newly added "mandatory" meningococcal vaccination for all 7th grade students entering the public school system. (see PDF of new requirements).
To receive the no-cost immunizations, parents must bring their child's shot records.
The free health screening and immunization program isn't limited to just one booming state, with other parts of the nation such as Florida offering free immunizations and health physicals to students. In Phoenix, Arizona, the local fire department provides free immunizations to children who have fallen behind or need to update their shots as part of their Baby Shots program.