KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — The Knox County Health Department (KCHD) held a vaccination clinic for soon-to-be seventh-graders on Saturday, ensuring they were ready to enjoy their summer vacation and stay healthy.
On June 12 from 10 a.m. through 1 p.m., parents could bring their children to KCHD's vaccination clinic at 4216 North Broadway, at the old Food City. It was repurposed as a vaccination site several months ago to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
There were no appointments required and parents could choose from several vaccines at the clinic.
Immunizations are required for students entering seventh grade, however, officials said many rising seventh-graders fall behind.
"This happens for several reasons, not the least of which is that kids tend to receive fewer annual checkups as they grow older," said KCHD nursing director, Dena Mashburn. "We wanted to offer this special clinic to help students get caught up on required and recommended vaccines and to offer the COVID-19 vaccine."
Some of the available vaccines at the clinic were Tdap, meningococcal, and HPV. The COVID-19 vaccine will also be available for students 12 years of age or older.
The CDC estimates that the vaccination of children born between 1994 and 2018 will prevent more than 26 million hospitalizations, 936,000 deaths and save nearly $1.9 trillion in total societal costs.
If families couldn't attend the June 12 clinic, immunizations are available at any area pediatrician offices and many local pharmacies.
KCHD also provides vaccines at its main location at 140 Dameron Avenue and West Clinic at 1028 Old Cedar Bluff, by appointment only. To make an appointment, call 865-215-5070.
More information about childhood immunizations, including contact information for KCHD and a list of the recommended vaccinations by grade level, is available at knoxcounty.org/health.