Hundreds Metro Atlanta residents braved the July 31st heat to take advantage of Southside Medical Center’s Annual Back to School Immunization Drive. The long line of parents and children, of all ages, wrapped around the building and through the parking lot of the 1046 Ridge Avenue location. Alone with free immunizations, families received free vision, dental and hearing screening for school. Students participating also received free back to school supplies, and parents obtained additional health care information. Georgia requires all students have proof of up to date immunization records for all grade levels, and health screenings for primary school admissions like pre-K and kindergarten.
Southside Medical Center, www.southsidemedical.net , has been offering this community service since the early 1980s. The event is always held the week before school opens. CEO, Dr. David Williams, says the service started after taking note of the low immunization rates identified in the community. With each year, Dr. Williams says, the number of participates grow. That growth is an indication that the program is not only needed, but meeting its intended goal of making sure required immunizations are assessable. For many families this back to school service is very valuable because of the cost of immunizations and health screens. All a parent needed was an updated copy of their child’s immunization records. Medical professional evaluated the records, provided the needed vaccinations, and the certificates of immunization to present for school admission.
For the students there was face painting, balloons, moonwalks and famous T.V. characters to meet like Dora and Elmo. More than 200 area volunteers, including health care professionals, the Salvation Army, and area high school students, helped to make the event a success. Free food and plenty of water was provided.
Metro Atlanta families still have a chance to obtain free immunizations and health screening during the upcoming Oakhurst Medical Center’s Health and Wellness Family Day scheduled for Saturday, August 7, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Stone Mountain facility is located at 770 Village Square Drive. The event will provide immunizations, hearing and vision screening for children and teens ages 5 to 18, screenings for adults, and additional family activities. Parents must bring a copy of the child’s immunization records. For more information contact Brenda Jackson of Oakhurst Medical Center at 770-808-0114.