August is National Immunization Awareness Month (#NIAM17) and the California Coalition partners with individuals and organizations around the country to maximize our collective voices in support of vaccines and immunization. This first week is focused on keeping babies and young children healthy by ensuring on-time vaccinations.
Our immunization programs represent one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century. The purpose of #NIAM17 is to celebrate the benefits of vaccination and highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. The California Immunization Coalition will be focusing on the following themes of protecting our families and our entire community across the lifespan.
July/August – Back to School:
Ready for school? Make sure those vaccine records are up to date!
July 31-August 6 – Babies and Young Children
A Healthy Start Begins with On time vaccinations.
August 7-13 Pregnant Women
Protect Yourself and Pass Protection On To Your Baby
August 14-20 – Adults
Vaccines Are Not Just For Kids
August 21-27 – Preteens/Teens
Ensure a Health Future With Vaccines
You can download the #NIAM17 media toolkit at the National Public Health Information Coalition website. Check back on our CIC websites, our Twitter pages (@ImmunizeCA and @VICNetwork) and associated Facebook pages for more ideas to help promote immunizations in August and throughout the year.
Great News For California Seventh Graders
The 7th Grade Report and school line lists for the 2016-2017 school year are now posted at ShotsForSchool – 7th Grade Data. Compared to the 2015-2016 school year, the proportion of students attending 7th grade in 2016-2017 reported to have received the Tdap booster immunization rose from 97.8% to 98.4%, a 0.6% percentage point increase over one year and a 1.8 percentage point increase over the three years since 2013-2014. The 2016-2017 rate of 98.4% is the highest reported Tdap booster requirement for 7th grade, which began in the 2011-2012 school year.
Congratulations to our school nurses, health staff at public and private schools, and our public health departments for gathering and reporting data.
Data released April 12, 2017 from the California Department of Public Health shows that passage of SB 277 by Senators Richard Pan and Ben Allen in 2015 has had a positive impact on immunization rates for California Kindergarteners. Immunization rates have improved among all specific vaccines and overall vaccination rates went up from 92.8% in the 2015-2016 school year, to 95.6% – an increase of 2.8 %! Conditional entrants (those students who needed to catch up on some vaccinations after school entry) also decreased from 4.4% to 1.9%, a decrease of 2.5 % in one year.
As was expected by implementation of the new law, personal belief exemptions (PBEs) decreased from 2.4% to 0.6%. Medical exemptions increased from 0.2% to 0.5%, with the largest increase seen among students in private schools. Additionally, a new category which quantifies the number of students that are without immunization and attending private home school situations or independent study program, shows the number of students lacking immunizations represent approximately 28,000 children.
This great news about improved immunization rates is the result of a tremendous public health effort, starting with the California Department of Public Health Immunization Branch, local health departments and our wonderful school nurses and school administrators who helped to support the implementation of these new school immunization requirements.
The legislative efforts of Senator Richard Pan, MD and Senator Ben Allen, their hard-working staff, and the advocacy of the ‘I ‘heart’ Immunity’ Coalition consisting of CIC, Vaccinate California, the California Medical Association, Health Officers Association of California, American Academy of Pediatrics, California, California School Nurses Organization, the California PTA and many many more helped to raise awareness and bring the bill to signature by Governor Brown in June 2015 and full implementation in 2016.
The report shows great improvement, however it also shows that in some areas of California there is more work to do. Nine of the 58 counties still have vaccination rates below 90%, and 14% of the counties have fewer than 95% of Kindergartners reporting as having two doses of MMR – a threshold of immunity necessary to prevent the transmission of measles. All of this information sustains and encourages us to keep up the great work we are doing in California and beyond. Congratulations!
For full report, go to
Annual Kindergarten Immunization Assessment – 2016-2017
For additional information about immunization rates and questions about school rules and implementation of the law, go to ShotsforSchool.org
Shots for School Website is the Go-To Resource for School Nurses and Healthcare Providers
The California Immunization Coalition is committed to making sure that parents, educators and health care professionals have the information they need to answer their own questions, or distribute to their patients or students. New rules for school and childcare required immunizations will go into effect in 2016. While most families will not be affected by these rules, we want to make sure you have resources to understand the school immunization laws and suggest you visit sites such as the California Department of Public Health Immunization Branch, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Immunization Action Coalition to learn about the vaccines that help protect you and your family from vaccine preventable diseases.
Did you catch our CIC Education Hour on October 28? The new law created by SB 277 (Pan/Allen) which removes the personal belief exemption (PBE) from school vaccination requirements goes into effect on January 1, 2016. CIC wants to help providers and parents understand the new rules around vaccine documentation and this first presentation included an overview of the law, an explanation of medical exemptions as well as resources for parents and providers to learn more about how the process will work.
A follow up broadcast was held on December 9, 2015 for school health personnel. Information can be found under Resources > CIC Education Hour > Archives.
Thank you for Attending the 2017 CIC Summit
Thank you to the over 200 attendees, speakers and organizers who helped make our 2017 CIC Summit a success! Held on April 3 -4, 2017 at the Mission Inn in Riverside, California, the Coalition was pleased to welcome speakers including Sarah Royce, MD, CDPH Immunization Branch Chief, Mark Sawyer, MD, Elena Conis, PhD, Associate Professor at UC Berkeley and author of “Vaccine Nation,” Brian Mittman, PhD and Peter Szilagyi, MD, MPH. Along with a special screening of the film Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children and a follow up presentation and discussion time with Don Mitchell, director of Hilleman.
Please complete the Summit evaluation sent to your email account and give us your feedback for the next Summit. You can visit the CIC Summit website to view the Summit agenda and presentations that will be posted by April 27th. Watch this site and our Twitter and Facebook pages for announcements about our next education event and our 2018 Summit.
Thank you for attending!