Current student vaccination records foster a healthier school, learning environment, and community.
Every year schools collect, maintain, and submit student vaccination records to local health departments. Disruptions created by the pandemic have caused many students to fall behind in routine vaccinations.
The CDC recently reported that during the 2021-2022 school year, national vaccination coverage among kindergarten-age children dropped to 93 percent. For measles alone, nearly 250,000 kindergarteners are potentially not protected. Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination coverage for kindergarteners is the lowest in over a decade, the CDC said.
Some states are particularly impacted. In California, for example, at the start of the 2022-23 school year, one in eight children needed to catch up on routine vaccines that were missed or delayed during the pandemic.
Going beyond reporting
Besides the requirement to report student vaccination records to local health departments, there are many other reasons why schools should maintain up-to-date immunization records:
- Ensure the health of individual students. Timely vaccines are the best way to protect students from viruses and bacteria that can cause real and devastating harm, advises the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
- Safeguard the entire school from an outbreak of vaccine-preventable disease. Earlier this year, the CDC issued a health advisory in Kentucky after confirming a case of measles in an unvaccinated person who attended a gathering of more than 20,000 people. Also, California’s large measles outbreak in 2015 was mostly among unvaccinated individuals.
- Protect vulnerable staff, students, and community members unable to receive certain vaccinations. These restrictions may be due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia, or other health reasons.
- Shield future student bodies. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases like smallpox that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago.
- Ensure students visit their doctor or clinic regularly. Children typically receive routine vaccinations during wellness visits, when pediatricians also screen for other health issues. Also, when schools require student vaccination records, they show parents the urgency of following a recommended immunization schedule, says the AAP.
- Avoid learning loss. Without state-required vaccinations, many students cannot attend school and risk falling behind academically.
Also, an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease disrupts in-person learning, hampering academic progress. According to the American Education Research Association, the cost of learning loss due to COVID-19 reached nearly $700 billion. Communities of color were hit particularly hard with learning deficits during this period.
- Improve compliance with local and state immunization requirements. Current immunization records help states maintain an accurate immunization rate and meet public health goals. Also, schools in good standing with state health departments avoid associated fines or penalties.
We help schools ‘mind the gap’ in student vaccination records
Primary.Health’s digital tools make school immunization management more efficient, accurate, and compliant. Our technology works with your systems to instantly flag gaps in student vaccination records so you can focus on those first. No more paper records, complicated spreadsheets, or chasing down missing vaccination records. We can also help schools boost student immunization levels by powering a pop-up vaccination clinic.
Get started by registering for a live demo of our school health management tools on April 26, 2023. See why more than 4,000 schools nationwide trust us with the health and safety of their students and staff.
To learn more, contact our School Sales Team by calling 1-855-970-3223 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.