Pencils, notebooks, jumbo erasers, vaccines. As the first day of school approaches, parents start to check off those final items on their checklist. But are vaccines on that checklist?
Recent stories have highlighted Arizona as one state where vaccination exemptions, and concerns about the exemptions, are growing. Although the state requires several different vaccinations depending on the child’s grade level, Arizona does allow exemptions to that requirement. According to a recent article by 12 News, the number of Arizona children being approved for exemptions has increased for a second consecutive year meaning that if a statewide outbreak were to happen, thousands of children would be at risk.
Bringing awareness to the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases is important to not only keep children safe but also our communities. Agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Public HealthInformation Coalition have developed immunization materials for outreach and education efforts. You can find CDC promotional and educational resources for every audience, from pregnant women to young children to adolescents to adults, on CDC’s website for immunization partners.
Children and young adults of all ages, from preschoolers to college students, need to be vaccinated. This school year be sure to check vaccines off your back-to-school list.
For information on getting up to date with the state required vaccines (Unvaccinated Patient Guide), or for Arizona specific statistics and reports, visit the Arizona Immunization Program website.
What are your thoughts about vaccinations? What role to you think they play in helping make Arizona the healthiest state in the nation?