With the beginning of the new school year fast approaching many children will need additional vaccines to pass school registration guidelines for the upcoming year. However, with the ongoing recession many parents may find that paying for the vaccines are costly. This is especially true for children that may not be covered under health insurance.
Don’t despair; there are quite a few ways to get free or low-cost vaccines if you have a demonstrated financial need. Here are a few choices:
1. The first thing to do is contact your county’s local Health Department. You can find the number by looking in your Yellow Pages or by dialing 411. If you have access to a computer, most county Health Departments have a webpage. Usually the local Health Department will allow you to have your child vaccinated at no charge or they will use a sliding scale to determine how much your family can afford to pay.
2. You can also contact your WIC Office. The WIC program (Women, Infants and Children) requires proof of vaccinations in order to apply for benefits. They also offer an immunization referral program that can direct you to clinics that offer free and low-cost immunizations.
3. Do a web search using the key words “free immunizations”. For an even better search, use the key words “free immunizations in ______(put in your city)”. You will see a list of local free clinics in your area that may offer free vaccinations. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can visit your local library and search the web at no charge.
4. Contact the school that your child will be attending and ask if they offer a list of places that offer free vaccinations. When I first moved to California many years ago and we were very short on money, the school district referred my family to a mobile vaccination clinic. This was an onsite bus that offered immunizations for children. We just filled out some forms and the vaccinations were given to my boys at no charge.
These are just a few ways you can get your child free or low cost immunizations.