Vaccines help people become immune to diseases without having to get sick. Making an informed choice about immunization is key to protecting your family’s health.
High immunization rates in a community also provide protection for those who cannot be vaccinated because of age restrictions or medical conditions. This is called community immunity because when most people are vaccinated, a disease cannot spread widely. The community is immune, even when certain people are not.
The Snohomish Health District encourages residents of all ages to get vaccinated according to national recommendations.
DISEASES PRIOR TO VACCINES
Vaccines are carefully developed and monitored for safety and effectiveness. Before vaccinations, many people in the United States got seriously ill or died of once common diseases such as:
- Bacterial Haemophilus influenzae type b (hib or H flu)
- Rubella (German Measles)
- Whooping Cough (pertussis)
DISEASE RISKS FOR TRAVELERS
Many diseases that are now rare in the U.S. still occur in other countries. If you are planning a trip outside of the United States, certain travel vaccinations may be recommended or required depending on where you travel.
Since children can be especially vulnerable to disease, and since school settings often make it easy for illness to spread, vaccinations are required for children to enroll in school or child care. Schools are required to report the immunization status of all children who attend.
Before a child can attend a school or child care center, the parent or guardian must submit a signed copy of the Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) form. Please see our Immunizations/Labs page for more information.
FOR PRESCHOOL OR CHILD CARE ATTENDANCE
FOR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE IN GRADES K-12
If you have personal or religious reasons for not vaccinating your child, or if there is a medical reason that excludes your child from a school-required vaccine, ask a health care provider to complete and sign a Certificate of Exemption (COE) form. The provider will educate you as to the risks and benefits of exemptions before signing the COE.
If you are a member of a church that objects to the use of medical treatment, please complete the Religious Membership Exemption section of the Certificate of Exemption (COE) form.
Children who have exemptions on file may not be allowed to attend school or child care if there is an outbreak and they are not vaccinated against that disease.
Vaccines are just as important for adolescents and adults as they are for children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes immunization schedules for three groups:
- Children from birth through age 6
- Children 7-18 years of age
- Adults 19 and over
CHILDHOOD VACCINE PROGRAM
Washington State supplements the federal Childhood Vaccine Program (CVP) so that all residents have access to recommended vaccines at no cost up to their 19th birthdays. Providers may charge an administration and/or office visit fee, but there is no cost for the vaccine. No child who is an established patient may be refused CVP vaccinations if they are unable to pay these fees.
RECOMMENDED VACCINE SCHEDULES
CHILDREN FROM BIRTH THROUGH 6 YEARS OF AGE
Following the recommended schedule will protect your child from 14 potentially deadly diseases.
PRETEENS AND TEENS FROM 7 THROUGH 18 YEARS OF AGE
As children become teenagers, they face new disease risks. Recommended vaccines protect them when they are most vulnerable.
The adult vaccine schedule lists immunizations in two ways, by age and by health condition, so adults get the best possible protection from vaccine preventable diseases. Some adults are at increased risk because of the work they do. Let your health care provider know if you are:
- A health care provider or emergency medical technician
- A long-term care facility employee
- A student who plans to enter a health care field
- A teacher, a child care worker
- A restaurant worker who prepares or serves food
- A young adult entering college, traveling, or volunteering