Santa Clara Co. launches new campaign to boost vaccination numbers in children

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Sunday, April 23, 2023
Santa Clara Co. launches new campaign to boost child vaccine numbers
In a push to boost the vaccine numbers, Santa Clara County is launching a new campaign called "Vaccines Are Another Part of Growing Up".

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- More continues to be learned about one of the long-term impacts the COVID pandemic.

Childhood vaccines of all kinds have declined since the start of it.

Father of two Steven Brock says he's made it a point to keep his 3-year-old and 4-month-old kids up to date on immunizations.

But says at times, it was challenging.

"With COVID, and everything, it was hard to even get into the hospitals," Brock said, "So a lot of that regular schedule of three months, six months, one year kind of went by the wayside, unfortunately."

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National and global data show a decline in childhood vaccines, a trend also seen more locally.

Data from the California Department of Public Health shows that hundreds of Santa Clara County kindergartners are past due for required vaccinations.

This is something the county says puts children at risk of illness and keeps them from going to school.

Patricia Cerrato is Santa Clara Public Health Department's Immunization Program Manager.

She says they're focused on making sure kids are getting both required and recommended vaccines.

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The department held listening sessions with community members.

They found that missed appointments due to pandemic impacts are a big reason locally for the numbers seen.

But they also learned more.

"We also heard that there was misinformation," Cerrato said. "The community was asking to provide more information about the vaccines."

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So now, in a push to boost the vaccine numbers and provide truthful information to both families and health care providers, Santa Clara County is launching a new campaign called "Vaccines Are Another Part of Growing Up".

Aimed at reaching multiple cultures in multiple languages.

"We wanted to reach all of the community in Santa Clara County," Cerrato said, "So that they get informed, they know that the vaccines are safe."

The website, provides information and resources to parents about vaccines, finding vaccine records and low cost ways to get them.

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"I'm definitely in favor of building immunity for the whole population," Brock said of the campaign, "When kids are at that age where they've particularly vulnerable to lots of viruses and diseases, I think it's up to the parents to make the informed choice to protect their kids."

The county has received one million dollars in federal funding for the campaign through a COVID grant.

Money they say will be focused on getting parents critical information.

"We want to let them know that these vaccines are there," Cerrato said, "That they are accessible and for everybody."

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