The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) announced in a press release last week that children and families need to ensure that their vaccines are up to date. Public health officials are requesting that people schedule their appointments now. In Colorado, there are many vaccine requirements for child care and school.

“Keeping our kids healthy at school starts with getting them vaccinated. With recent measles outbreaks in the United States and around the world, it’s more important than ever to make sure all students are caught up on childhood vaccines,” said Ned Calonge, CDPHE’s chief medical officer in the news release. “Let’s keep measles out of Colorado. Summer break is a great time to schedule check-ups and make sure your child’s immunizations are up to date. This simple step helps keep them healthy and allows them to focus on learning and having fun in school.”

The vaccines that are required for child care and to enter K-12 school include Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Haemophilus influenza type b, Inactivated poliovirus, Pneumococcal conjugate, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella. College students must provide proof of immunization for measles, mumps and rubella.

The CDPHE recommends that people talk with their pharmacist or healthcare provider to get vaccines that protect them against harmful diseases like COVID-19 and RSV. If parents are looking for a cost effective or free vaccine, there are many that the CDPHE offers with the Vaccines for Children program.

“Colorado parents need to know that it’s more important than ever to get your child vaccinated to protect them,” said Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist at CDPHE in the news release. “Together, we can achieve a rate that’s necessary for community immunity, keeping preventable viruses at bay. As a society, we are so fortunate to have access to these life-saving vaccines; let’s be sure to use them. Now is the time to get up to date.”

The Vaccines for Children program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and provides free and affordable vaccines for “uninsured, underinsured, on Medicaid or Medicaid eligible” children who are 18 years of age or younger. This program offers more than 600 vaccine providers as well.

The CDPHE has an immunization record to help people keep track of their vaccinations as well as information on rules regarding waivers from state vaccination requirements