The only vaccine anyone seems to be talking about nowadays is the one that will eventually be used to ward off COVID-19. But, the state of Texas requires for school-aged children to receive seven different vaccines over the course of 18 years. Considering Harris County has a worryingly high vaccination opt-out rate and we are currently living through a pandemic, it might be a good idea to go ahead and get your kids vaccinated, if you haven't already.
For those who can’t afford all the required vaccines, Northwest Assistance Ministries, a non-profit, community-based social service agency, is administering free vaccines today, June 12.
NAM’s Pediatric Health Center clinic is partnering with CHRISTUS Healthy Living Mobile Unit to provide free vaccinations to children age 4 to 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at The Harrell Family Opportunity Center (15555 Kuykendahl Rd).
College students, age 19 and up, who want the meningitis vaccine can also get one today, with a $20 donation to CHRISTUS.
The free vaccines are only for children who do not have some form insurance, says Flor Porcher, the clinic’s pediatric intensive case manager. So kids who are enrolled in the CHiP program would not qualify for free shots here.
However, any child can still get immunizations at the clinic, Porcher says, just not the free ones from CHRISTUS. Vaccinations are free for clinic patients; if you aren’t a patient, they cost $10 per shot.
A parent or guardian must register ahead of time by calling 281-885-4649, and you also must be present at the clinic with your child tomorrow. Remember to bring your child’s shot records. Also, anyone who comes into the clinic must wear a face mask, Porcher says, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you don’t feel safe coming in just yet (because of the pandemic) or can’t make it tomorrow, Porcher says CHRISTUS will be back in August, closer to the start of the new school year, to offer more free vaccines.