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Madison County Health Department is vaccinating children for free to obtain a ‘Blue Card,’ or Alabama Immunization Card, to enter school. CONTRIBUTED

Vaccinations free at health department for students’ Blue Card

MADISON – The Blue Card . . . Every Alabama student must have an up-to-date card to attend school.

The ‘Blue Card,’ officially named ‘Alabama Immunization Card,’ represents a record of ‘shots’ that a child has received to prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis or TDaP, along with other diseases including Human papillomavirus or HPV and Hepatitis A and B.

To receive the Blue Card, Madison County Health Department will administer free vaccinations for children and older youth. Department employees are conducting a back-to-school clinic for vaccinations through Aug. 2, according to WHNT-TV.

Madison County Health Department’s address is 301 Max Luther Drive in Huntsville. Students can receive vaccinations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For a list of needed vaccines by age, visit alabamapublichealth.gov/immunization/assets and click “Back-to-School Flier.”

“What we do not need is an outbreak of whooping cough, an outbreak of pertussis, measles or some of these old diseases that have essentially been eradicated,” Dr. Eric Mackey said. Mackey is the Alabama State Superintendent of Education.

Those diseases “are no longer taking the lives of children or causing a great deal of suffering, but we can’t bear to let those come back, and be a plague on society as they were five or six decades ago,” Mackey said.

In addition to required vaccinations, COVID-19 shots are available for five-year-olds and older. Dr. Karen Landers with Alabama Department of Public Health, said the COVID-19 vaccine is not required to attend school, but the Alabama Department of Public Health recommends that parents follow the guidance of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices or ACIP for childhood vaccines. (whnt.com)

The state health department urges parents to see that their children receive vaccinations on time and thus confirm their long-term health. Vaccination also helps protect the health of classmates, friends, relatives and community residents. (adph.org)

For a list of required vaccinations for school attendance in Alabama, visit adph.org. For more information, visit alabamapublichealth.gov.

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