Kids getting off school bus

Visit Immunization Clinics Early to Avoid Back-to-School Rush

TULSA, OK – [July 9, 2021] – The Tulsa Health Department reminds parents of children entering kindergarten or the 7th grade that now is the time to visit immunization clinics to avoid the back-to-school rush that starts every year in August. To help clients during this busy time, THD has launched a new online portal to schedule a child’s immunization appointment. Walk-ins are not accepted this year.

“The immunization clinics get very busy as the first day of school approaches,” said THD Division Chief of Preventive Health Services Priscilla Haynes. “We encourage families to immunize their children now while there is little to no wait time in the clinics. Immunizations are one of the best ways to protect the health of your child against vaccine-preventable diseases. The new online scheduling portal makes it convenient for busy families to schedule their vaccine appointment with ease.”

While THD is still encouraging everyone age 12 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine, children also need immunizations for school, especially since many families may not have received their shots last year. 

Across the U.S., there was a 14% decline in immunization doses administered in 2020, according to the CDC, with measles vaccinations declining more than 20%. In Oklahoma, there was a 13% drop in childhood vaccine orders in calendar year 2020. In the adolescent population, there was a 20% decline in 2020, which was alarming given there was a steady increase in adolescent vaccine orders from 2017 to 2019.

Children have routine vaccinations due after they reach age four. Other vaccines are recommended for adolescents at age 11; the Tdap is a required vaccine for students entering the 7th grade. THD encourages anyone who is moving into a college residence this fall to consider taking charge of their health and get all their vaccinations. 

All children age 17 and younger should have a parent or legal guardian with them at the time of vaccination. The legal guardian must bring paperwork showing their guardianship status. Masks are required for everyone age two and older in THD vaccine clinics. 

There are no new immunization requirements for the 2021-2022 school year. THD provides immunizations according to the Oklahoma school requirements, CDC recommendations and the childhood and adolescent immunization schedule.

Children transferring into Oklahoma schools from other states may need the hepatitis A vaccine. This vaccine is not required for all states; however, two doses of hepatitis A vaccine are required for all Oklahoma students in grades kindergarten through twelve. Parents are advised to bring their child’s most recent vaccination record.

Children through age 18 years are eligible to receive vaccines at no charge through the Vaccine for Children program if any of the following apply: they have Medicaid, they are uninsured, Native American Indian, Native Alaskan, or their insurance policy does not cover vaccines. 

Back-to-school immunizations are offered at a low cost and no one is turned away due to inability to pay. THD also accepts the following health insurance: Medicaid, SoonerCare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Community Care, Health Choice, Cigna, and Medicare.  It is recommended to check with the insurance company to verify coverage for requested vaccines.  

Immunizations are available by appointment only at the following THD locations. Shot record requests can also be made in person at any of the clinic times and locations listed below, by phone at 918-582-9355 or online.

James O. Goodwin Health Center | 5051 S. 129th E. Ave.
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Closed for lunch from 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
 

Central Regional Health Center |315 S. Utica
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Closed for lunch from 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
 

North Regional Health and Wellness Center | 5635 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Wednesday & Friday
8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Thursday
Closed for lunch from 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
 

Sand Springs Health Center | 306 E. Broadway 
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Closed for lunch from 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Birth certificates must be ordered in advance online or by phone at 877-817-7346. Online and phone orders will have a turnaround time of approximately two business days. Mail-in orders will also continue to be accepted with a turnaround time of about 10 weeks.  Vital Records will offer a Will Call service, giving individuals the option to pick up orders placed online for birth and death records in-person. Will Call pick-up hours at our 51st & 129th location are 2:30 to 4:45 p.m. on weekdays (Monday-Friday). Read more about the process and other information about birth and death records. 

For more information about immunization clinics and state immunization requirements please visit our Back 2 School page or call 918-582-WELL (9355). 

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Note: View a complete guide to immunization requirements in Oklahoma for the 2021-2022 school year and the Oklahoma Caring Van schedule