BARSTOW • Parents who missed the Kids Care Fair in Barstow over the weekend have another option if they want to get their children immunized before school starts.
The public health clinic at 303 East Mountain View Street in Barstow offers vaccines for adults as well as children, but people are encouraged to make their appointments at least two weeks in advance, said Kelly Hoffman, supervising health education specialist for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health.
Barstow offers immunizations on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well as the first and fourth Tuesday of the month, Hoffman said. Parents can also take their children to the Victor Valley Public Health Clinic at 16453 Bear Valley Road in Hesperia, which is open five days a week 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and takes appointments until 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. Appointments two-weeks in advance are recommended for immunizations at the Hesperia clinic as well.
"Our Hesperia clinic is by far our busiest clinic," Hoffman said. "They see more patients than any other clinic in the county."
All immunizations for children, including the chickenpox vaccine, is available at the clinics, Hoffman said. Immunizations for adults such as the hepatitis A and B vaccines, measles mumps rubella and polio vaccines are available as well. Hoffman said travel vaccines, such as typhoid and yellow fever, are offered as well. The meningococcal vaccines and human papillomavirus vaccine is also offered to people younger than 18, she said. There is a $10 fee per shot or oral dose for children, Hoffman said, but the clinic will not turn a patient way for inability to pay. Vaccines are available to children without health insurance and those who qualify for Medi-Cal for free through the Vaccines for Children program, Hoffman said. The clinic charges adults for the vaccines they request, Hoffman said.
Seasonal flu vaccines won't be available to the public until September, Hoffman said. The availability of the H1N1 or swine flu vaccine is still unknown. Hoffman said the swine flu may be available in a limited supply initially.
This weekend's Kids Care Fair drew 430 parents and children, said John Rader, spokesman for Barstow Community Hospital, one of the sponsors for the event. A total of 345 vaccines were administered to 130 children this year, he said. Last year volunteers provided 318 vaccines to 115 children.
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When to vaccinate? (Recommended age)
• Birth to two months: Hepatits B.
• Six months: Inactivated poliovirus; flu (yearly beginning at six-months)
• One year (12 months): Haemophilus influenzae type b; pneumococcal; measles, mumps, rubella (MMR); varicella (chickenpox); hepatitis A (two doses).
• 15 months: Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP).
• Four to six years: MMR (second dose); chickenpox (second dose).
• 11 to 12 years: DTaP (second dose); human papillomavirus (three doses); meningococcal.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.