NYC Health + Hospitals today reminded parents and guardians to schedule appointments for physicals, immunizations, vision and hearing tests, and other health services at NYC Health + Hospitals locations citywide. Annual physicals are important to ensure children are growing and developing properly. Health services for children and adolescents are available city-wide at little or no cost at NYC Health + Hospitals locations. To ensure a safe return to classrooms, the NYC Department of Education is also encouraging families to get their children who are 12 years and older vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Remaining up-to-date with well-visits, immunization, and COVID-19 readiness is paramount for families to understand as their children march back into classrooms this fall,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD. “Children oftentimes imitate health practices of the adults around them, so wellness visits and healthy lifestyles are encouraged to be a part of family routines to help foster maximum outcomes in and out of the classroom.”
“Our city’s public health system continues to ensure affordable access to important health care services are available city-wide, even for our youngest patients,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Director of Pediatric Health Care Delivery Katherine Piwnica-Worms, MD. “Overall health has been proven to have a positive impact on academic success. As parents and guardians prepare their school-age children for another school year, they should make sure they’re including well-visits and vaccinations on their back-to-school to-do lists.”
Many NYC Health + Hospitals ambulatory care sites are able to begin an annual health exam for children three years and older via a telephone or video visit with the child’s pediatrician. After the initial virtual engagement, a brief in-person appointment is scheduled between the patient and their provider to complete a physical exam and any lab work or vaccines that may be needed. If parental consent is on file, the teen can come alone for the in-person scheduled visit.
This year, vaccinations take a new priority as children 12 years and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Receiving this safe and effective vaccine will further support the city’s fight against the pandemic and keep children and adults safe as they resume pre-pandemic activities, such as universal in-person learning, contact sports, and more.
Flu vaccines are also still highly encouraged by the public health system. The flu is a contagious illness that infects the nose, throat and lungs and can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications, especially for children. All parents and guardians should seek the annual flu vaccine for children over 6 months, once it becomes available. Flu season changes every year but can start as early as October.
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and NYC Department of Education offer the latest information on vaccine requirements for children.
NYC Health + Hospitals also offers parents and guardians eight pieces of health advice (www.nychealthandhospitals.org/healthtips/back-to-school-health-advice/) to help children get ready for the school year, including advice on vaccination requirements, flu shots, nutrition, sleep, setting routines, and more.
To make an appointment at any NYC Health + Hospitals location, parents and guardians are encouraged to call 1-844-NYC-4NYC (1-844-692-4692).
Free COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines for children 12 years old or older are offered city-wide. Find a location near you here.