/ Modified jul 17, 2013 9:53 a.m.

Free Vaccines for Back-to-School Children

El Rio, Boys & Girls Club, Pima County Health Dep., co-sponsoring four free immunization events.

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El Rio Community Health Center partnered with the Pima County Health Department, and the Boys & Girls Club of Tucson to co-sponsor four events that will provide free immunizations for children going back to school.

“We’ll be providing all the...vaccines that are needed for a...child to go back to school,” said Penny Whitley, the regional director for El Rio. “(We'll provide them with the) DTaP shot, which is the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine, the measles mumps rubella varicella vaccine, HIB and hepatitis A and B.”

Whitley said the event is for children from ages five to 18. A legal parent or guardian must accompany all children.

“It’s a free walk-in service,” she said. “If they have insurance, they need to bring their insurance card with them so we can verify their insurance, and then we’ll need for them to bring their shot records.”

Families who don't have insurance are strongly encouraged to come to the event, said a press release from El Rio.

There will also be other free services offered, including dental exams and fluoride varnish treatments by the El Rio dental team, and eye exams by the Lions Club.

Information on how to apply for AHCCCS or the Boys & Girls Club will be available at the events as well.

The events will be held at four different Boys & Girls Club locations throughout July with the last event on Aug. 3. The first event will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Steve Daru Clubhouse located on 1375 N. El Rio Drive. For more information call El Rio at 243-7736.

Yoohyun Jung is a University of Arizona journalism student and intern at Arizona Public Media

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