New Latino Adolescent Immunization Initiative In Los Angeles Tackles Low Vaccination Rates For Whooping Cough, Meningitis

Eastmont Community Center responded to alarmingly low whooping cough and meningococcal meningitis immunization rates among Latino adolescents by launching a new adolescent immunization awareness initiative. The grassroots campaign aims to educate local Latino families about free or low-cost vaccines available to help protect children against these and other infectious diseases.

Only around half of Latino preteens and teens are vaccinated against these potentially life-threatening infections, putting them and their communities at increased risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Eastmont’s public awareness initiative, made possible with support by Sanofi Pasteur, is called Vacune a Sus Hijos Adolescentes (Get Your Teens Vaccinated). The new program will inform parents that vaccination is more important than ever in light of the statewide whooping cough epidemic.

Through a coalition of trusted local partners including public health organizations, medical centers, businesses, schools, churches and civic groups, Vacune a Sus Hijos Adolescentes will encourage parents to contact their health-care provider or local public health department to learn if their children qualify for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program. Under this program, eligible children can receive free or low-cost vaccines that can help protect them against whooping cough, meningitis and other vaccine-preventable infections.

“We will reach parents with these important messages in every possible way,” said Teresa Palacios, acting executive director of Eastmont Community Center in East L.A. “We want to make sure L.A. families know that their children may qualify for the VFC program, so that they can get their children vaccinated!”

Source: Eastmont Community Center

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