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Washington’s school immunization exemption rates show that many of our state’s children are vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases, according to the state Department of Health. Whooping cough has increased in Washington, with more than 600 cases of this serious disease in the state last year. Measles also poses a growing threat to kids, and four cases have already been confirmed this year, according to the department.
Vaccines required for child care and preschool attendance in 2011-2012:
• Hepatitis B
• Haemophilus influenzae type B
• Pneumococcal Conjugate
Public Health clinics provide routine immunizations for children 6 weeks to 19 years of age (to age 20 years for hepatitis B) for current patients through the public-funded “Vaccines For Children” (VFC) program.
VFC was established in 1993 to remove the barriers of cost and access to attaining childhood immunizations. The program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Washington, and supplies vaccines to providers across the state.
Almost 95 percent of public and private immunization providers in King County are currently enrolled. All children from birth up to the 19th birthday (hepatitis B up to the 20th birthday) are eligible to receive these vaccines. For more information, visit www.kingcounty.gov/