Get Your Children Up-to-Date on Vaccinations Before Back-to-School

California Department of Public Health Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith reminds parents to make sure that their children are up-to-date on required vaccinations before the school year begins.

“Parents should put vaccinations on their back-to-school checklists,” Dr. Smith said. “Vaccinations are the best way to ensure that students are protected and to stop the spread of measles and other serious diseases.”

Children are required to have received certain vaccinations in order to attend school or child care in California. Dr. Smith urges parents to make an appointment now with their health care provider to help protect themselves and their families.

Cost should not be a barrier for childhood vaccinations. If health insurance does not cover the recommended vaccinations, children may qualify for free vaccines under the national Vaccines for Children Program.

Talk to your doctor or local health department for more information.

On June 30, 2015, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 277, which does not change procedures for the fall of 2015. Under this new law only medical exemptions to required immunization will be allowed for students entering school after Jan. 1, 2016.

To learn more about the law and the immunizations required for child care and schools, visit

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