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August 06, 2020

Don’t delay immunizations due to the COVID-19 outbreak  

Panama City, Fla.— August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the importance of getting recommended vaccines throughout your life. You have the power to protect yourself and your family against serious diseases like whooping cough, cancers caused by HPV, and pneumonia through on-time vaccination.

During NIAM, the Florida Department of Health in Bay County (DOH-Bay) encourages you talk to your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional to ensure your family are up to date on recommended vaccines.

“Children need to be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic”, said Sandon S. Speedling, MHS, CPM, CPH, Administrator and Health Officer, DOH-Bay, “Immunizations and well-child visits are essential services that should not be delayed during the COVID-19 outbreak and are needed to return to school.”

We also encourage you to visit CDC’s Interactive Vaccine Guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughout your child’s life.

As your children head back to school this fall, make sure vaccination is at the top of your checklist. August is also a key time to make sure you are up to date on all the vaccines you need to stay healthy. Use CDC’s adult vaccine assessment tool to see which vaccines might be right for you.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, all immunization services at DOH-Bay are by appointment only.
Back to school shots are free of charge through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. Please call (850) 872-4455 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. to schedule an immunizations appointment for the following services:

  • Child Vaccines
  • Adult Vaccines
  • Religious Exemption
  • Immigration Vaccines
  • International Travel Vaccines

Guardians must provide a Florida Certification of Immunization (DH 680 form), documenting the following vaccinations:

Public/Private Schools Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade:

  • Four or five doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP) vaccine
  • Three doses of hepatitis B (Hep B) vaccine
  • Three, four or five doses of polio (IPV) vaccine
  • Two doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine
  • Two doses of varicella vaccine for K-12


Seventh Grade:

In addition to kindergarten through twelfth grade vaccines, students entering or
attending seventh grade need the following vaccinations:

  • One dose of tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap) vaccine in grades seven through
  • An updated DH 680 form to include Tdap, must be obtained for submission to the

Parents of middle and high school students should also give consideration for two optional vaccines; those are for meningitis and HPV. The CDC states that all 11 to 12-year-olds should be vaccinated against meningococcal disease, with a booster at age 16. The meningitis vaccination is especially important for those participating in sports teams that may likely be in close quarters and drink after each other. The HPV shot is recommended for 11 to 12-year-old boys and girls and aids in protecting both from certain types of cancers and genital warts caused by the human papillomavirus. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. It is recognized that teens who become active sexually have an 80-percent chance of contracting HPV. Prevention is a key to stop this type of cancer.  One vaccine can stop this form of cancer for boys or girls and prevent the spread of disease in future partners.

Please see a list below of services that do not require an appointment. You can request these services via email at A call back will be provided when forms are ready for pick-up, or if additional vaccines are required to schedule an appointment.

  • Out of state records transferred to Florida 680 Form (for school registration)*
  • 680 Form
  • College Forms (for college entry)

For more information regarding immunizations and other preventive health measures, please call 850-872-4455 or visit the DOH-Bay website at or follow us on Twitter at @FLHealthEmerald. For details on immunization requirements, call 1-877-888-7468 or visit You can also visit for more information on routine vaccination during the COVID-19 outbreak.


About the Florida Department of Health 

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit