Loretto Hospital team members participate in community health event | Provided, Loretto Hospital

A new school year starts on Aug. 21 for Chicago Public School students. To help Austin families get their kids ready for school, Loretto Hospital, 645 S. Central Ave., offers free immunizations and physical exams for underinsured and uninsured Austin families. 

“Our children are the future of this community,” Tesa Anewishki, president and CEO of Loretto Hospital, said in a press release. “The ability to access required back-to-school physicals and immunizations should not be a barrier to their success.” 

Under state mandate, students must present proof of required immunizations and physical exams upon enrollment or before Oct. 15. From July through September, Loretto Hospital offers free back-to-school immunizations and physical exams for Austin families living within the following ZIP codes: 60651, 60644, 60624, 60623 and 60612. Same-day and walk-in appointments are available. Loretto offers all required immunizations, except for polio. For additional information, call 833-TLH-LOVE.  

Additionally, Austin residents will be able to access other free health evaluations at community events and locations throughout Austin. During the months of July, August and September, Loretto Hospital will participate in community events. On Aug. 19, Loretto Hospital team members will offer blood pressure screening and mental health evaluations at Cong. Danny Davis’s Back to School Event. On Sept. 9, hospital team members will bring blood pressure screenings, mental health evaluations and HIV and sexually transmitted testing to 4731 W. Madison St. 

What immunizations do Chicago Public Schools require?  

The following vaccines are required for all students; dosage requirements vary based on students’ age and school grade.  

  • Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus 
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella 
  • Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) 
  • Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (PCV)  
  • Hepatitis B 
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) 
  • Meningococcal Disease (MCV4) (MenACWY)  
  • Polio 

What medical examinations do CPS schools require?  

The following medical examinations are required for all students entering specific grades, entering kindergarten, or entering Chicago Public Schools for the first time.  

  • Physical examination: required for students entering kindergarten, 6th and 9th grade or CPS for the first time at any grade level.  
  • Vision examination: required for students entering kindergarten or an Illinois school for the first time at any grade level.  
  • Dental examination: required for kindergarten, 2nd, 6th and 9th grade. Unlike other physical examinations due Oct. 15, proof of dental examination is due before or by May 15, 2024.  

Parents or guardians must provide proof of required immunizations and school physical exams before Oct. 15. A complete list is available at cps.edu/sites/back-to-school for Chicago Public Schools students. 

All students attending school must comply with the required vaccines unless an Illinois Certificate of Religious Exemption Form is completed.  

In addition to required immunizations, Chicago Public Schools recommends students receive the following vaccines: COVID-19, flu and HPV, also known as human papillomavirus. For additional information about vaccines, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at www.CDC.gov 

To schedule vaccination appointments or apply to health insurance with help from Chicago Public Schools, call 773-553-KIDS.