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For Immediate Release:
August 13, 2013
For more information contact:
Public Health Communications
(213) 240-8144

Back-to-School Vaccines; Are You Up-to-Date?
Learn which vaccines you and your family members may need

Article - PressRelease.BacktoSchoolVax.8.13.13.pdf

LOS ANGELES - In recognition of National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) and the start of the new school year, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is encouraging all residents to learn which immunizations they and their family members may need. Immunizations are required for school entry and are recommended for people of all ages to prevent infectious diseases that can be serious and spread easily.

"Many people in the United States have never seen the devastating effects that diseases like whooping cough and measles can have on individuals, families and communities," said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. "The truth is that these diseases still exist, and every year, there are cases of measles, mumps, whooping cough and other vaccine- preventable diseases reported in Los Angeles County. In fact, last year we had 154 whooping cough cases in LA County. The best thing that you can do to prevent such diseases is to be certain that every person in your family has received all recommended immunizations."

Recommended Immunizations

Because of advances in medical science, people can be protected against more diseases than ever before. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that individuals receive the following immunizations.

  • Infants and toddlers should complete a primary series of immunizations to protect against fourteen serious diseases.
    • Vaccine doses are recommended routinely at birth and 2, 4, 6, 12, and 15-18 months of age
  • Between 4 and 6 years of age, children should receive a booster dose of the following vaccines:
    • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis)
    • Varicella (chickenpox)
    • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
    • Polio
  • At 11-12 years of age, preteens should receive:
    • HPV (human papillomavirus)
    • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis)
    • Meningococcal conjugate vaccines
    • Older adolescents should ensure that they are up-to- date with all childhood and adolescent vaccines
  • Every adult should receive a Tdap vaccine, followed by a Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster every 10 years and pregnant women should receive a Tdap vaccine with each pregnancy. Adults may need other vaccines, such as a pneumococcal vaccine or zoster (shingles) vaccine, based on their age, vaccination history, health status, risk factors, and travel plans.
  • Everyone 6 months of age and older should receive a flu vaccine, every flu season.

Back-to-School Immunizations

Students entering or transferring into public, private, and charter schools, as well as homeschooled students, are required to show proof that they received certain vaccines in order to enter school.

  • Kindergarten students must submit proof that they received the required number of doses of:
    • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis)
    • Varicella (chickenpox), unless the child has proof that he or she had chickenpox
    • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
    • Hepatitis B
    • Polio
  • Students entering the 7th grade must show proof that they received a Tdap booster vaccination on or after their 7th birthday.
  • Immunization requirements for colleges and universities vary by institution. Guidelines can be found at www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Documents/IMM- 1014.pdf.

"Preventable disease outbreaks in schools are rare because the majority of parents make sure that their children receive all recommended vaccines," notes Dr. Fielding. "Most parents understand that choosing not to vaccinate their children leaves them and others who cannot be vaccinated, at risk for serious diseases. In addition, if there is a disease outbreak, unvaccinated children can be kept home from school until they are no longer at risk for the disease, which can be days or even weeks. We encourage all parents to have their children fully vaccinated to help keep them healthy and in the classroom."

National Immunization Awareness Month Partnership

The Immunization Coalition of Los Angeles County (ICLAC), a public/private partnership of schools, clinics, hospitals, vaccine companies, community-based health organizations, and government agencies, has joined Public Health in promoting immunizations for preteens, adolescents, and young adults during NIAM. ICLAC and its partners are supporting NIAM by disseminating information and educational materials to community organizations and promoting awareness through social media platforms (#NIAM13). The campaign will link eligible individuals and families with resources for low-cost and no-cost vaccines. Additional information can be found at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ip/ICLAC.


Los Angeles County residents are encouraged to contact their regular healthcare provider to arrange for vaccinations.

  • Those who do not have a regular healthcare provider or any type of health insurance coverage for vaccines may call the LA County Information Line at 2-1-1 from any landline or cell phone within the county or visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ip for referrals to providers offering immunizations at no-charge or at a reduced-charge.
  • Immunization schedules can be found at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ip/syndication/vaccineSchedul e.htm.
  • Information regarding school immunization requirements can be found at www.shotsforschool.org.
  • Personal stories about vaccine-preventable diseases can be found at www.shotbyshot.org.

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do please visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/lapublichealth, find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lapublichealth, or follow us on Twitter: @LAPublicHealth.


Related Information Site(s): Resources for low-cost and no-cost vaccines | Information about School Immunization Requirements