To help parents in the Alexandria area prepare their children for school and day care this fall and protect them from preventable diseases, the Louisiana Department of Health - Office of Public Health is hosting a back-to-school immunization event 8:30 a.m.- noon Friday, July 29, 2011 at the Rapides Parish Health Unit.

Immunization has proven to be a safe and effective way of preventing illnesses and death from many infectious diseases. Having kids vaccinated keeps them healthy and in school and protects other children and even other family members from getting sick. The low cost and high effectiveness of vaccination ensure that every dollar spent on vaccination is repaid many times over because of reduced hospital costs, in addition to lives that remain productive.

Parents or caregivers who take advantage of the no-cost immunizations should bring their children's shot records to the immunization event for updating. No appointment is necessary. The Rapides Parish Health Unit is located at 5604-A Coliseum Blvd. in Alexandria. For more information, call 318-487-5282.

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's blog, Twitter account and Facebook.