SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. –-- More 5 and 6 year olds in Snohomish County had all the vaccines they needed to enter school last year, according to recent data released by the state Department of Health. For the 2012-2013 school year, 86.3 percent of local kindergarteners were up to date on their shots, better than past years and higher than the state average of 85.6 percent.
Vaccines are required for school children because they prevent disease in a community setting. The rate of vaccination has continued to climb since an all-time low in 2008-2009.
School districts report vaccination rates to the state. The highest immunization rates for all grades (K-12) in Snohomish County last school year were in Lakewood (94.8%) and Everett (94.7%) school districts.
A small percentage of families seek exemption from the vaccination requirement, an average of 5.3 percent in Snohomish County schools compared to 4.5 percent statewide for children entering kindergarten.
In 2011 the process for parents or guardians to exempt their child from school or child care immunization requirements was changed. Parents need to see a medical provider to get a signature on the Certificate of Exemption form for their child’s school. More information about the form and the law is available online at www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/Immunize.
Although exemptions are allowed for medical, religious, or personal reasons, the best disease protection is to make sure children have all their recommended immunizations. Children may be sent home from school, preschool, or child care during outbreaks of diseases if they have not been immunized.
Summer is a good time to make sure your children are up to date on required shots. The cost of childhood vaccines is subsidized by federal and state government so that every parent can choose to have their child protected without regard to cost.
Required childhood vaccines are available for the school year 2013-2014.
- Two doses of chickenpox (varicella) vaccine or doctor-verified history of disease is required for age kindergarten through grade 5. Students in grade 6 are required to have one dose of varicella or parental history of disease.
- The whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine, Tdap, is required for students in grades 6-12 who are 11 years and older.
Recommended vaccines also are available.
- Varicella vaccine for children in grades 7-12 who have never had chickenpox.
- Meningococcal vaccine for adolescents age 11-12. A second (booster) dose at age 16-18 if first dose was given at ages 11-15.
- A three-shot series of human papillomavirus (HPV) for both adolescent boys and girls age 11 and older.
- Children 12 months and older should receive hepatitis A vaccine, a two-shot series.
- Flu vaccine for all people age 6 months and older.
Snohomish Health District promotes routine vaccination of children and adults.
Snohomish Health District’s Immunization Clinic will serve you if your family does not have a health care provider. A visit to a Health District clinic includes a check of your child’s record in the Washington Immunization Information System, the state’s immunization registry.
Parents should beat the rush by making appointments now with their child’s health care provider. At the Health District, parents can make an appointment during normal clinic hours at either the Lynnwood or Everett office.
A parent or legal guardian must accompany a child to the clinic, and must bring a complete record of the child’s immunizations. You need to fill out a Snohomish Health District authorization form to have another person bring your child to the clinic. Ask the clinic staff to mail or fax a form to you.
Health District clinics request payment on the day of service in cash, check, debit, or credit card. Medical coupons are accepted, but private insurance is not. The cost can include an office visit fee, plus an administration fee per vaccine. Reduced fees are available by filling out a request based on household size and income.
Teens also occasionally require travel vaccines for out-of-country mission work or community service. The Health District offers those immunizations and health advice for traveling in foreign countries.
Please call if you have questions, concerns or to schedule an appointment: SHD Immunization Clinic 425.339.5220.
Read more about the state’s vaccine requirements for school-age children and child care. Find more information about Washington’s school immunization data.
Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health District at www.snohd.org.
Back-to-school shots hours:
SHD Everett Immunization Clinic, 3020 Rucker Ave, Suite 108, Everett, WA 98201
By appointment: 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday-Friday
SHD Lynnwood Immunization Clinic, 6101 200th Ave SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036
By appointment: 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday
NOTE: Both clinics will be closed on weekends and on Labor Day, Sept. 2.