With the current uptick in positive COVID cases in the Hudson Valley, whether identified as breakthrough or among the unvaccinated, the push for herd immunity and more vaccine opportunities is a priority, especially for school aged kids.

With back to school just around the corner, as well as August being National Immunization Awareness month, the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health (DBCH) has announced that beginning on August 16th, they will be offering free vaccinations (Pfizer) for children ages 12 years and up at the DBCH Immunization Clinic at the Family Partnership building - 29 North Hamilton Street (Suite 109), Poughkeepsie.

Free parking is available across the street from the building.

Appointments are required, and available between the hours of 9am and 5pm for slots beginning August 16th by calling 845-486-3409 or 845-486-3533.  The DBCH has announced that families should plan on the vaccine appointments to run for a total of 30 minutes, and each appointment will begin with a health screening, followed by the shot, and then monitoring for approximately 15 to 30 minutes after the vaccine has been administered.  Staff will be on hand to answer any questions and provide information to families.

The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health also reminds community members that their clinic provides other vaccines that are required for attendance at New York State schools, offering immunizations for children 2 years and older, free of charge.  A complete list of their services can be found here.

In the announcement from the county on August 5th, County Executive Marc Molinaro provided the following statement:

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination has been proven effective for children, ages 12 and up. Our DCBH clinic provides a comfortable environment to discuss the vaccine with a health professional and decide if it is right for your child.

In addition to the 'back to school' clinic, COVID-19 vaccines are also being made available throughout the county through pediatrician and doctors' offices, national pharmacies, and even local supermarkets with pharmacy locations.  Additional COVID-19 vaccine related resources can be found here.

DBCH Commissioner A.K. Vaidian, MD, MPH shared the following:

COVID-19 is still out there. We are pleased to offer this opportunity for families to get their child vaccinated prior to school starting. The COVID-19 vaccine is the greatest defense against the virus, protecting against significant illness, hospitalization and death.

Recent Hudson Valley COVID positivity rates can be found here.

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