South San Francisco, CA August 1, 2017 SMC Dept of Health Press Release
State law requires that students receive certain vaccines or they won’t be permitted to attend school or child care, unless they have a valid exemption. This can be challenging for busy parents who are preparing their kids to enter kindergarten or child care for the first time. Parents should also be aware that vaccinations are also required for students entering seventh grade.
Immunizations are considered one of the greatest achievements in public health and medical science and protect children and families from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Some children are unable to be vaccinated because of health reasons, and they rely on the collective immunity of those around them. This was the case for Rhett Krawitt, now 8 years old, who drew national attention during a measles outbreak December 2014 through spring 2015 that originated at Disneyland. Rhett could not be vaccinated against measles because of his leukemia treatment. Rhett bravely advocated for better vaccination coverage, and his public efforts contributed to the passage of California Senate Bill 277, which removed personal belief exemptions from required childhood vaccinations.
“Making vaccinations part of your preparation to return back to school is an important step for the new school year,” said Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County Health Officer. “Often parents are finding fall vaccination appointments filled up so we urge parents to get an early jump on this flu season.”
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an annual flu vaccination for everyone six months of age or older. Parents should make an appointment for vaccines at their child’s regular doctor’s office or clinic. Children without health insurance, with Medi-Cal, or of American Indian or Alaskan Native descent may be eligible for vaccines at low or no cost through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program. Find doctors or a clinic that participates in the VFC Program by visiting eziz.org/vfc/provider-location