District of Columbia Mayor Anthony A. Williams today announced the launch of a comprehensive community outreach campaign to encourage annual child health assessments and immunizations.
This effort is designed to increase compliance with routine primary care preventive practices, ensuring age-appropriate vaccinations and comprehensive physical examinations for District schoolchildren.
"Our goal is to make certain that all District children receive regular, preventive health care," said Mayor Williams. "And this year, we hope to have all schoolchildren immunized by the start of school in the fall."
Currently, approximately 5,600 public school students are living without age-appropriate vaccinations. In an effort to expand compliance with childhood vaccinations and child health preventive screening requirements, the Department of Health, in partnership with the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and health care providers, will ensure timely student record review, provide parents with immunization information, encourage parents to obtain comprehensive health and dental services, increase access to immunization services, and ensure a seamless transfer of information to the community.
The District's efforts will include an aggressive media campaign with a "No Shot - No School" theme in conjunction with Children's National Medical Center's "It's Wise to Immunize" theme. Children's National Medical Center will offer backpacks filled with school supplies to students who make well-child visits prior to July 15. School health nurses will continue to conduct extensive outreach activities; managed care providers will provide extended hours for clinic operation; and DCPS will utilize its automated calling system to remind parents of immunization requirements.
"Although parents have the ultimate responsibility for accessing and ensuring age-appropriate regular and routine healthcare of their children, we very much appreciate the help of our community partners in this effort," said Mayor Williams.