Back to School

As the new school year begins or is set to begin in communities throughout Arizona, many parents will be adding an immunization record to their back-to-school checklist.

From Tucson News Now:

“Proof of up-to-date shots is required before heading to class. According to the Pima County Health Department, every year, there’s a long line of parents who waited until the last minute to get their children up to date on shots.”

Parents can opt out of immunizing their children for personal or religious reasons, but many health experts don’t believe that is the best approach. The short video below, from PrescottNews.com, talks about what would happen if a student is diagnosed with measles. Click here or on the picture below to hear it.

immunize

California used to allow parents to opt out, but a law passed last year changed that. A recent article on AzCentral.com wants to see our state do the same thing.

Last year, California passed a law requiring all children enrolled in public or private schools or day cares to be vaccinated, regardless of their parents’ religious or personal beliefs. There are medical exceptions. But those who don’t like it can choose private school or home school or some off-campus program. We should do that here.

According statistics posted on the Arizona Department of Health Services website, personal belief exemptions stayed roughly the same in our state last year. The number of kindergarten through sixth grade students not being immunized in Arizona is still about 4.5 percent.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and with that in mind, the National Public Health Information Coalition put together a toolkit with immunization information and resources.

It is a polarizing debate, particularly with the new school year upon us. Share your thoughts and let us know how you think Arizona should handle the childhood immunizations. We believe generating these types of conversations and looking for practical solutions will one day help us reach our long term goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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