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Free immunizations

By Staff | Nov 10, 2008

The recently opened Lee County Health Department clinic on Pondella Road in North Fort Myers will offer free childhood immunizations starting Tuesday.

After opening in mid-September, the new 27,000-square-foot clinic provides much needed services to the residents of North Fort Myers and Cape Coral. It currently hosts 75 employees working in women, infants and children, immunizations, vital statistics, women’s health, disease intervention and pharmacy.

Immunizations for all children under the age of 18 will be free and the health department will also offer free flu shots. Available immunizations include diptheria and tetanus, polio, hepatitis B, MMR and varicella.

“We are doing all childhood immunizations,” said Catherine Burden, senior community health nurse. “Anything that is on the regular schedule for children.”

All immunizations are free for children under 18 with the Florida Vaccine for Children program, said Burden. Those over the age of 18 will have to go to the health department’s main campus on Michigan Avenue.

According to Burden, parents need to make an appointment for their child to receive an immunization. The clinic on Pondella is offering same and next day appointments.

The influenza vaccine is also available with a shot and FluMist, but children with a compromised immunize system cannot receive the mist vaccine.

“The CDC recommends (the flu vaccine) for all children 6 months to 18 years old,” said Burden. “With all of the stress everyone is under, they are trying to promote vaccines as much as possible.”

The new clinic is located on 83 Pondella Road.

The health department is asking parents to bring all of their child’s immunization records. To make an appointment or for more information, call 656-2597.