Children in school or child care who are not up to date on immunizations will be excluded from attending on Feb. 15.
The Oregon Immunization Program is reminding parents to check their records on file, and update any missing vaccinations for their children before the deadline.
Under state law, all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified child care facilities must have their immunization records updated or have an exemption.
“Immunization is the best way to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases such as whooping cough and measles,” said Stacy de Assis Matthews, school law coordinator in the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. “It helps keep schools and the entire community safe and healthy.”
If school and child care vaccination records are not up-to-date on Feb. 15, the child will be sent home. Reminder letters to parents were mailed on or before Feb. 1.
In 2016, local health departments sent 41,045 letters to parents and guardians informing them that their children needed immunizations to stay in school or child care. A total of 6,995 children were kept out of school or child care until the necessary immunization information was turned in to the schools or child care facilities.
Parents seeking immunizations for their children should contact their health care provider or local health department. No one can be turned away from a local health department because of the inability to pay for required vaccines. Many pharmacists can immunize children age 7 and older. Parents should contact their neighborhood pharmacy for details.
To find a provider parents can call 211Info — dial 211 — or go to 211info.org.