Genesee County Health Department launches “Be A Health Hero” campaign

FLINT — This fall the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) is launching the “Be A Health Hero” campaign to create awareness of the importance of immunizations for families with children.

In an effort to best protect children from preventable diseases that easily spread, scheduled immunizations are recommended for children ages 0-18. In the state of Michigan, children who attend childcare facilities and public or non-public schools through grade 12, should receive scheduled recommended immunizations prior to starting each school year.

As a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many kids are not up to date on their vaccinations. All children who attend childcare, preschool and K-12 are required to be up to date with their vaccinations before their first day of attendance. This includes kids who will be attending school virtually. GCHD is encouraging families to schedule their appointments now to beat the rush.

The Genesee County Health Department provides all childhood and adult vaccines. The Health Department accepts some private insurances and is a Vaccine for Children (VFC) provider. In addition, they participate in the Michigan Adult Vaccine program.

To reduce the number of vaccine-preventable diseases in school settings and in large groups, the state of Michigan recommends all students be up to date with their immunizations. In addition, it is encouraged that everyone 6 months of age and older, including at-risk persons, receive an annual flu vaccine.

Tina Hanson, Public Health Nurse Supervisor for Immunizations and Children’s Special Health Care Services at Genesee County Health Department said, “We are launching this campaign with three main objectives:

First, to make families aware that they still need to keep up with their scheduled immunizations and seasonal flu shots even though schools are currently doing virtual, in person or mixed mode instruction.

Secondly, to assure that all kids and families are protected, we encourage you to make your immunization appointments now. Finally, to let our youth feel like heroes who focus on protecting others as well as themselves.”

Children are encouraged to “Be A Hero” by showing responsibility, being brave, courageous and strong. Hanson continues to say, “We want to educate our children and help them to understand how important it is to not only protect themselves, but their family and friends as well.”

The GCHD Immunization Program offers a variety of immunization services to community residents including:

• Providing immunization clinics for childhood and adult vaccines at the GCHD Burton Branch and offsite clinics in the community

• Coordinating immunization record assessment, tracking and reporting for all schools and childcare centers in Genesee County

• Conducting quality assurance for the Vaccine for Children (VFC) Program

• Providing special clinics for school and community programs

• Providing educational updates for County medical providers

“We are committed to delivering excellence in all of our programs and services while we strive to meet the needs our community members. We want to make sure that our residents know how important and imperative it is for their children to come in for their immunizations,” said Hanson. “Let’s let our children be the heroes they so greatly strive to be, by protecting themselves and those around them.”

Due to current recommendations for social distancing during the COVID- 19 pandemic, the Health Department clinical services for Immunizations are currently by appointment only. To make an appointment, call 810-237-4569 or 810-237- 4540.

The Burton Branch is located at G-3373 S. Saginaw St. Appointments are available Monday through Friday. — G.G.