With the first day of school right around the corner many parents are going through their back-to-school checklist and crossing off supplies or a first day outfit, but parents should not forget an important item for that list, vaccinations. Sacramento County Public Health is reminding parents how important it is for their children to be up to date on all the necessary vaccinations. From newborns to college, you can help protect your children from 16 serious diseases by getting them vaccinated. Make sure your kids get any needed vaccines before the back-to-school rush.
“Vaccines are important not only for children who receive them, but also for those who are not able to be vaccinated, such as newborns and individuals with compromised immune systems,” said Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County Public Health Officer. “It is because of vaccines that we no longer see diseases such as Polio and Diphtheria in the United States, and that is why Public Health is encouraging everyone to stay up-to-date on vaccinations.”
Vaccines for Young Children (Newborns through 6 years old):
Vaccines for Preteens and Teens (7 years old through 18 years old):
- Three vaccines are recommended specifically for preteens:
- HPV vaccine protects against HPV infections that can cause cancer later in life.
- Tdap is a booster shot to help protect preteens from whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria.
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine protects against meningitis, and bloodstream infections (bacteremia or septicemia). These illnesses can be very serious, even fatal.
- If your teen hasn’t gotten one or more of these vaccines, make an appointment for them to get caught up today.
The Sacramento County Immunization Assistance Program
is available to provide information about immunizations for school, and provide assistance in obtaining immunization services for children and adults in Sacramento County. The program also provides referrals for clients to immunization resources, consultation services, and conduct flu vaccine clinics each fall, and provide State-supplied vaccines during vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.
The CDC also has online resources
and tools to help you make sure your kids are up to date on recommended vaccines and protected from serious diseases. If you don’t have health insurance, or your insurance policy doesn’t cover all recommended childhood vaccines, your child may be eligible for vaccines through the Vaccines for Children program.
The school immunization law affects all students in public and private schools. Transfer students from out-of-state entering any grade level (K-12) in California may need additional immunizations to meet California requirements. Though valid medical exemptions are allowed, with the enactment of Senate Bill 277, personal-belief and religious-belief exemptions are no longer permitted. Parents should call their child’s school for more detailed information about the law.
To celebrate the importance of immunizations for people of all ages and to make sure children are protected as they go back to school, Public Health will be recognizing the month of August as National Immunization Awareness Month. The Sacramento County Public Health Division urges everyone to make sure they have the shots they need.