Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), today urged parents to have their children immunized with the start of the school year.
"Ensuring children are up-to-date on immunizations is an important part of back-to-school activities,” Horton said. “Parents can help keep children healthy and in school by having them immunized to prevent disease.”
California schools must review children’s immunization records to ensure that students have received all required shots for school entry.
The California Department of Public Health’s 2006 Kindergarten Assessment shows that 93 percent of the 503,160 students enrolled in kindergarten received all their required immunizations before starting school; 827 (0.2 percent) registered for permanent medical exemptions and 7,108 (1 percent) students had personal belief exemptions; the remainder (fewer than 6 percent) were admitted to school conditionally, receiving their final immunizations after starting school.
“Californians should be proud of the high immunization rates in the state, “ Horton said. “We must continue to work together to ensure children have the vaccines they need before school begins.”
Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that were once common in this country, including polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps and tetanus.
For more information about California school immunization requirements, vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, parents should contact their child’s physician, school nurse, their local health department or visit www.GetImmunizedCA.org.