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State Mandate - School Vaccines

National Immunization Awareness Month

 

Last updated 8/9/2016 at 8:07am

As parents prepare to send their children off to school, August is National Immunization Awareness Month. The County Health and Human Services Agency is reminding parents to check their children's immunization records and schedule doctor visits soon to avoid the last minute rush for appointments for vaccines. Following the passing of Senate Bill 277 which eliminated personal belief exemptions. Schools now require all students to show proof of having received all the required vaccines before they are allowed to attend.

Children who are 4 to 6 years of age are due for boosters of four vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis-whooping cough), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and polio.

Preteens and teens need a Tdap booster shot to protect them against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that teens get vaccinated against human papilloma virus and meningococcal disease. A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for all children 6 months and older.

"Vaccines are the most effective tools there are to prevent children from getting sick," Wooten added.

The number of unvaccinated kindergarteners in California has dropped two years in a row, and health officials hope to see it keep falling this upcoming school year as a result of a new state law that went into effect in July.

"The lower the number of unvaccinated students, the less likely it is for disease outbreaks to occur," said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. "When children are not vaccinated, not only are they at increased risk for disease, they can also spread illness to others at school and at home."

Students who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons are still exempt.

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