Press Release
Public Health


School Vaccination Time Has Arrived

Kittitas County, WA - 08/02/2016 - With the beginning of the 2016-17 school year quickly approaching, the Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) would like to remind residents that now is the time to make sure your student has immunizations up to date.

For upper county residents, KCPHD will be providing free Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) and varicella (chickenpox) vaccines at the Walter Strom Middle School Library on August 31, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  A Tdap vaccine booster is required for 6th graders, and a varicella booster is a new requirement for 9th to 12th graders.  No appointment necessary, students will be vaccinated on a first come-first served basis.  For a list of all required vaccinations, visit via the Washington State Department of Health (DOH).
KCPHD can also provide all children’s vaccines by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays in our office in Ellensburg. 
According to the Washington State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy, “vaccines are critical protection for our children and help keep other kids around them safe from many diseases such as whooping cough and measles.” (Full press release attached below).  However, in Kittitas County, only two-thirds of 4-6 year olds are up-to-date with vaccines required for school entrance.
“All vaccines for children are free, and we are happy to speak to parents and guardians about vaccines and immunizing your child,” states Liz Whitaker, Community Health Supervisor.  “We want people to be informed about the benefits of immunizations as well as remove any barriers.”
To speak to a nurse, schedule a vaccine appointment, or request a copy of immunization status, please contact KCPHD at 509-962-7515. 
News Release
For immediate release:  July 18, 2016                                                                   (16-088) Contact:  Dave Johnson, Strategic Communications Office                                     360-545-2944
Time for back-to-school immunizations
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health is urging parents to make sure their kids’
immunizations are up-to-date before heading back to school this fall.
“Summer is a busy time, and immunizations are often overlooked. Vaccines are critical protection for our children and help keep other kids around them safe from many diseases such as whooping cough and measles,” said State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy.
Last school year, 85 percent of kindergartners had all their required immunizations. However, the number of kids with exemptions from recommended immunizations remained steady at 4.5 percent. This means that nearly 4,000 kindergartners do not have all of the vaccines they need to protect them from diseases.
A complete list of immunization requirements is available at the following Web pages:
·     Kindergarten through 12th-grade.
·     Child care and preschool children.
For school year 2016-2017, there are changes to the  chickenpox vaccine requirement. Kids in
kindergarten through grade 12 must get two doses of the vaccine or have a health care provider document that they have already had chickenpox.
Parents are encouraged to register for  MyIR, which allows access to their child’s Certificate of
Immunization Status. The Childhood Vaccine Program provides vaccines at no cost to kids younger than
19. Parents should be aware that health care providers might charge an office visit fee.
For help finding a health care provider or an immunization clinic, contact your local health agency or the
WithinReach Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.
The department’s website is your source for a healthy dose of information. Also, find us on Facebook and
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Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at


Contact: Kasey Knutson, Public Information Officer, 509-962-7515