Kids going back to school must have their immunization shots

Posted at 6:46 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 21:46:37-04

With the first day of school just right around the corner, kids are lining up at pediatrician offices and clinics for vaccinations.

For kids that do not have medical coverage, First 5 Kern and San Joaquin Community Hospital have teamed up to bring you the children's mobile immunization clinic, a program designed for children without health insurance.

It is important to remember that a new state mandate now requires that all children entering school be vaccinated against measles, mumps, whooping cough and other diseases.

Required vaccines include polio, hepatitis b and chicken pox. There are exceptions for kids with documented medical conditions, like immune system deficiencies or allergies. Kids that fall under these guidelines must have a medical exemption from a licensed physician.

Children with personal or religious belief exemptions prior to January 2016 do not have to comply with the new vaccination law until they enter a new grade span. Grade spans begin at kindergarten and again at seventh grade.

Leah Russin, mother and Executive Director of Vaccinate California, the grassroots coalition who advocated for SB277 issued the following statement about the law going into effect:

Full graphic for statement:

“This marks the start of a healthier, safer California. With SB277 in effect, vaccination rates will continue increasing as parents protect their children and communities, making our state more resilient to preventable disease outbreak. The new law is already working, improving quality of life, and saving lives.”

Keeping up-to-date immunization records for your family is important. Keep your child's immunization record in a safe place where you can easily locate it. Bring the record to each of your child's doctor visits. Ask the doctor or nurse to record the vaccine given, date, and dosage on your child's immunization record.

You should also note where your child got the shot – knowing at which doctor's office or clinic your child received a vaccine will help you get official records when you need them.

The free children’s mobile immunization program is available year round. Click here for this month’s calendar.