Santa Clara County launched a campaign to encourage parents and caregivers to have their children vaccinated after rates of immunization dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The county's Public Health Department plans to make information available about the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccination at community events through June, with materials available in Spanish, Vietnamese and other languages.
The county also plans to train staff at local schools and non-profit organizations about vaccination requirements to attend public school and how to discuss vaccine hesitancy with parents.
The "Vaccines are another part of growing up" campaign comes in response to greater numbers of kindergarteners in Santa Clara County falling behind on their routine vaccinations for illnesses like polio, chicken pox and measles.
Roughly 350 kindergarteners in the county were overdue for their routine vaccinations during the 2019-2020 school year, but that has ballooned to roughly 440 during the 2021-2022 school year, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.
"This investment signals our dedication to achieving health equity, by making sure the families that were most impacted by the pandemic have the information they need to protect their health," said Patricia Cerrato, the immunization program manager within the county's public health department.
"Community leaders and parents helped to design this campaign, and the materials, and we are really grateful for their partnership," she said.
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to talk to their child's physician about required and recommended vaccines for children.
Children without a regular doctor or health insurance can also access care through local community clinics or the county's health care system.
Information about required and recommended childhood vaccines can be found at publichealth.sccgov.org.
A website for the childhood vaccination campaign can be found here.