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Howard Webster’s third graders had “first-day jitters” on Sept. 18. But the first day of school had been nearly a month earlier.

Gateway Environmental K-8 Learning Center in Homestead was closed for seven school days because of Hurricane Irma, as were most other schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

“With the kids being out so long, it's like starting school all over again,” Webster said during an after-school event shortly after the storm.

The Florida Department of Health is kicking off a series of events across the state where students can get immunizations needed for school – for free.

In the first of dozens of events statewide hosted by the Florida Department of Health offering free immunizations for students, the third floor of the Orange County School’s administration building was packed Tuesday with dozens of parents and students waiting patiently for their shot in the arm.

Free Health Fair Helps Students Prep for School

Aug 15, 2013
Lottie Watts / WUSF

Most kids are heading back to school in Florida next week.  But before they can sit down in a classroom, many will have to sit down in the doctor's office for required vaccinations or a physical. 

 

That presents a dilemma for kids from families who are uninsured or underinsured. Lindsey Hernandez and her children have insurance through Medicaid. But that doesn't mean it's easy or convenient to get health care. At a back-to-school health fair last weekend at St. Petersburg College, four of her children got free physicals.