Vaccines are always an important part of back-to-school time. Even with students in Sacramento County going back in August/September with a distance learning model, Sacramento County Public Health
urges parents to have their children stay up-to-date on vaccinations.
“Students will be at home during the first part of the school year, but it is critical parents still take them to get their yearly vaccinations,” said Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County Public Health Officer. “In order to enroll in school, even when it is going to be behind a screen, it is still required by law that you meet the immunization requirements for the schools.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, immunization rates have plunged since March when states began adopting stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 has disrupted so much of our lives, but we must still make preventative health care services priority. Not getting your children vaccinated will make them more vulnerable to diseases like whooping cough, the flu and measles. Staying-up-to date on vaccinations should be a priority in order to reduce overcrowding in hospitals that are already busy taking care of patients with COVID-19,” said Kasirye.
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 received 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, as well as providing 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
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 information about the law.
To celebrate the importance of immunizations for people of all ages and to make sure children are protected as they grow up, Public Health will be recognizing the month of August as National Immunization Awareness Month.
The Sacramento County Immunization Assistance program is in the process of confirming flu clinic sites for fall 2020. Precautions will be taken at every site to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Please check back to our website for the final list of locations, dates, and times.