Colorado parents will receive text alerts from the state about overdue vaccinations for children

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — With the school year starting in a few weeks, some parents should expect to receive notifications from the state that their child is overdue for a vaccine.

Starting Tuesday, August 2, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) began sending 32,000 text messages and 13,000 emails to parents of children ages four to six.

The vaccinations included in this notification are measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP).

Text messages will come from phone number 45778. Emails will come from the [email protected] email address.

In El Paso County, health officials say children are the furthest behind for their measles vaccinations. El Paso County Public Health Immunization Program Manager Kristi Durbin says the immunization rate is 83% for the latest set of data they received.

“It needs to be around 95% to effectively prevent an outbreak and disease transmission,” Durbin explained.

The state has confirmed the decrease in the number of routine vaccinations for children.

“We are seeing a general decrease in routine vaccines for children and adolescents since the start of the pandemic,” said Heather Roth, head of the CDPHE’s immunization branch. “For children aged four to six, we have 13% fewer doses of MMR given compared to the pre-Covid era. We have 11% fewer doses of DTaP given.”

This system has already been made.

Last fall, before the start of the school year, the CDPHE sent similar notifications. According to the state, this direct outreach has increased vaccination rates.

According to the El Paso County Public Health Department, approximately 45 days after awareness, 10.9% of children received an MMR vaccine. Sixty-five days after sensitization, 13% of children received an MMR vaccine.

The email notification also includes a question asking the parent if the information is accurate.

Providers are encouraged to enter immunization records into the state immunization registry called the Colorado Immunization Information System after administering a vaccine. This is how the state accessed the data to then notify parents of overdue vaccines.

“If you hear from the department that your child missed an MMR or DTaP vaccine, make a note of it,” Roth said. “We know that many families have fallen behind during the pandemic. Health care has been disrupted quite significantly. It’s never too late to get back on track and now is the perfect time to do so. .”

Roth has confirmed that it is safe for MMR, DTaP and COVID-19 vaccines to be given together.

“It is also very important for parents to know that if they are considering a Covid-19 vaccine for their children and their children are late for something else, all of these vaccines can be given on the same day during the same visit in complete safety. security.”

Many health insurance plans are required to cover these recommended vaccines free of charge. Children may also be entitled to free vaccines at El Paso County Public Health. Parents can call 719-578-3199, option 5 to schedule an appointment.

Click on here to find a provider that administers free vaccines in your area and whether children are eligible.

Click on here for more information on routine vaccinations.

Click on here to request children’s vaccination records.

Click on here for more information on the safety of child health checkups during the pandemic.

Click on here to find vaccination and exemption rates for schools and daycares in Colorado.

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