An Apple a Day

 Back to school and vaccination protection

August 11, 2016

Over the next several weeks, tens of thousands of Riverside County youngsters will be heading back to the classroom, begrudgingly ending their summer vacations and hitting the books.

It is also a time to remind parents and guardians of the importance of getting children the required vaccinations. Immunizations represent one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century and they provide the best protection against illnesses such as measles and whooping cough.

In Riverside County, the latest figures show that 95.2 percent of students have the proper immunizations, which is slightly higher than the statewide average of 92.8 percent. There are also various Riverside County campuses – mostly elementary schools – that show a 100 percent vaccination rate. On the flip side, there are a handful of locations – small schools with enrollments of less than 100 students – that hover around 50 percent.

Our hope is to get that number as high as possible for each school through education and example. Schools should be safe locations and vaccines provide the needed protection against diseases that can sometimes be very serious, and are by no means in the past.

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is observed annually in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages and celebrate the benefits of vaccination.

Communities have used this month to raise awareness about the importance of vaccines to prevent serious and sometimes deadly diseases. People of all ages, adults, pregnant women, babies/young children and preteen and teens can protect their health with timely vaccination.

Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at