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Start the school year by getting your family up to date on vaccinations

For immediate release: September 5, 2023   (23-122)

Contact: DOH Communications

OLYMPIA – As kids across Washington head back to the classroom, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) encourages everyone to get caught up on their vaccinations to help keep families and communities healthy and safe.

Children entering school and child care must meet state immunization requirements. According to 2022-2023 school immunization data, nearly 91% of K-12 students completed their required school vaccinations, which is slightly lower than the past few years. To boost childhood immunization rates, DOH is working closely with community and local health partners and providing childhood vaccinations at mobile health clinics across the state.

“Vaccinations protect children against serious diseases, so they are healthy to attend school and achieve important developmental milestones,” said DOH’s Jamilia Sherls-Jones, Director of the Office of Immunization. “We encourage parents to schedule well-child visits as soon as possible, especially if their children are behind on immunizations.”

 As we head into respiratory virus season, DOH recommends children and adults get their flu and COVID-19 vaccines as well. These vaccines help prevent serious illness and hospitalization and reduce disease outbreaks. COVID-19 vaccines are available now, and an updated COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be available later this month. This year’s flu vaccine is expected to be available in pharmacies and doctor’s offices this month, and many locations have it now. DOH recommends people get their flu vaccine before the end of October to help prevent outbreaks at home, schools, and in our communities. Vaccines are available at no cost for everyone up to age 19 in Washington state and most insurance plans cover vaccines for adults at no cost.

New COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard

DOH recently unveiled a new design and web location for its COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard, which displays the number of COVID-19 vaccines given and the percentage of people vaccinated.  

The streamlined design highlights vaccination milestones and provides new metrics, including an ‘Up to Date’ section that shows the percentage of people who’ve received all vaccine doses recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based on people’s age and vaccine series. The dashboard updates every Wednesday.

Influenza Vaccination Dashboard

DOH’s Influenza Vaccination Data Dashboard, which was unveiled earlier this year, highlights the number of flu vaccines administered in Washington and the estimated percentage of people who received a flu shot. Beginning Sept. 6, the dashboard will be updated every Wednesday through the end of April.

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