NEWARK, NJ - The city is launching a program that will offer free vaccinations to children who in a few weeks will be back in school.

The School Bus Express program will run from Aug. 20 to Sept. 15 at the Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness at 110 William St. The immunizations will be offered on a first-come basis.

The state requires proof of immunization to attend a school or daycare, although there are some religious and medical exceptions.  

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“Ensuring the good health of our City’s youth is more than a public health issue,” said Mayor Ras Baraka in a statement. “These efforts are critical in building the stronger, safer, healthier, and more productive Newark of the future. Our children cannot grow, learn, and become successful adults unless they are healthy.”

Department of Health and Community Wellness Director Mark Wade also encouraged parents to utilize the program early on to avoid a last minute rush to the doctor’s office before the school year starts.

“Vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect your children against certain preventable diseases,” Wade said in a statement. “We encourage all parents and guardians to check their child’s immunization record and if needed, schedule a visit with your child’s primary care provider or with the health department.”

When bringing a child to the clinic, parents or guardians are required to have a copy of the child’s immunization record and birth certificate. Parents or guardians will also need their own identification and proof of residence, which could include a current utility, telephone or cable bill from the last 30 days of a visit.

Those with medical insurance should bring that information along as well.

The clinic will be closed for the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 3. The program will be available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

However, there are extended hours from 4:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Aug. 23 and 30, as well as Sept. 6 and 13. The clinic will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 25 and Sept. 8.  

For more information, contact Health and Community Wellness Immunization Coordinator Velda Font-Morris at (973) 733-7580.

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