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ABC7: Measles: Low-cost, Free Options To Help Vaccinate Underinsured Children

ABC7 health reporter Denise Dador recently interviewed Antoinette Barrett, RN, MSN, CPNP, a nurse practitioner with Cedars-Sinai's COACH for Kids mobile medical program, about how Cedars-Sinai is reaching out to vulnerable communities during the ongoing measles outbreak. 

"We see kids that are behind on their immunizations every day," said Barrett. “People are coming to us wanting to know if their kids are up to date, if they've had the measles vaccine, if they're safe. A lot of parents with infants are concerned.”

As ABC 7 News details, many children are under-vaccinated because their families fall in and out of insurance coverage. And parents often don't know where to turn to get help.

"It's hard to get insurance or sometimes it takes a long time," said Mayra Hernandez, a mother whose 4-year old son received his vaccination at the COACH for Kids mobile clinic.

Since the last measles outbreak in 2014, public health officials have been racing to vaccinate children in vulnerable communities such as Southgate. In 2016, California became one of three states that requires proof of vaccination before a child enrolls in school and the state does not allow personal or religious belief exemptions. Still, children--especially those younger than school-age--are falling through the cracks.

"We are seeing the younger kids, the infants that don't have to go to school yet, that don't have to meet the requirement. And we actually are having kids coming to us in order to get into school to meet that requirement," Barrett said.

Click here to watch the complete story from ABC7. 

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: COACH for Kids Delivers Healthcare to Communities Across LA