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​CDPH Recommends Students Catch Up on Routine Vaccines Ahead of New School Year  

Date: August 9, 2023
Number: NR23-024​


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: CDPH is reminding families to get up to date on all vaccinations for back to school.


SACRAMENTO – As the new school year approaches, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) urges children, teens, and adults to get required and recommended vaccines.


“Vaccinations help children, teen, and adult's immune systems recognize and fight off contagious diseases, keeping them healthy so they can grow, learn, and thrive while in school," said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “If you haven't done so already, check with your child's doctor to find out what immunizations they need."


REQUIRED IMMUNIZATIONS: California law requires students to receive age-specific immunizations in order to attend public and private elementary and secondary schools as well as licensed childcare centers. Schools and licensed childcare centers are required to enforce immunization requirements, maintain immunization records of all children enrolled, and report students' immunization status to CDPH. Families can visit CDPH's ShotsforSchool and Don't Wait – Vaccinate! webpages for information on immunization laws and required vaccinations for students in California.


It is also recommended that children and adolescents are vaccinated from additional vaccine-preventable diseases, including human papillomavirus (HPV), a common infection which can slowly and silently lead to cancer. HPV vaccination is recommended as early as age 9 years to help protect against cancers caused by HPV infection. Many teens in California have not yet been vaccinated against HPV and other vital vaccines.


RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES: Families that are having difficulty obtaining immunizations prior to the start of school can contact their local health department for help in finding a place to get needed immunizations. Under the Affordable Care Act, most health plans are required to cover the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine recommendations without charging a deductible or copayment. Children without insurance coverage can see if they qualify for the Vaccines for Children Program, which provides free vaccines for eligible children.​​

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