Free back-to-school vaccines offered for Orange County students

Event runs through August 8 in Ocoee; appointment required

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is offering free vaccines for students as part of its back-to-school immunizations event.

The health department hosts the event annually, but this year is different due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, appointments are required and no walk-ins will be accepted in an effort to avoid crowds.

Free school-required vaccines are being offered for Orange County students and children 4 to 18 years of age entering, attending or transferring to Florida schools. No college vaccines are being offered.

Here's what parents need to bring to the appointment:

  • Parents must bring a valid ID
  • Copy of child’s current immunizations records
  • Form of ID for the child (birth certificate, passport or other government-issued ID )

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County asked that we not list the exact location of the event to avoid large crowds. After making an appointment, an address will be provided. The event is taking place in Ocoee.

Safety measures have been implemented at the even, with each station separated by plastic barriers and chairs and tables placed 6 feet apart to keep families socially distant. Face coverings are also required while inside the event space.

Briana Buttone, who recently moved to Orange County from New York, made an appointment to transfer her 6-year-old daughter’s immunizations records to make sure she has all the required vaccines to start school in the fall.

“I’m looking to see how they have everything set up and keeping people safe. I’m glad they have things like this for people like us,” Buttone said. “”I’m down for online learning because she has underlying health conditions and bad asthma.”

Whether students will be in the classroom this fall or learning online, health officials encouraged all students to stay up-to-date on vaccines.

“It is important. Just last year there was an outbreak of measles and that’s something that’s required here, so it’s appropriate we focus on that because we don’t want an outbreak in a pandemic,” Kent Donahue said.

The event runs from 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. July 20 through August 8. The event may be extended, depending on the amount of appointments scheduled. The health department said it has the capacity to vaccinate 250 kids each day.

To make an appointment, call 407-723-5004.

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About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.