Children who haven't met the state’s vaccination requirements by next week will not be permitted to attend school.
A Feb. 19 deadline has been set for students to submit their vaccination records to school districts as proof they meet the state’s requirements. The Oregon Health Authority calls it School Exclusion Day.
According to the Corvallis School District, 77 students currently have incomplete vaccination records, down from last year at the same time when 85 students risked being held back from attending school.
Information from Greater Albany Public Schools could not be obtained before deadline.
“There’s a process,” said Corvallis School District spokesperson Brenda Downum, speaking to how families who don't wish to vaccinate their children can move forward. “That process is the Oregon Health Authority.”
According to OHA, more than 22,000 letters were sent to parents and guardians in 2019 informing families that their students had incomplete vaccination records. A total of 4,043 students were kept out of school until the proper immunization documentation was turned into their school districts.
The rule affects daycare as well. Children attending Head Start and certified child-care facilities must have up-to-date documentation on the immunizations, according to OHA.
“Immunization is the best way to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases such as whopping cough and measles,” said Stacy de Assis Matthew, school law coordinator for the OHA’s Public Health Division. “It helps keep schools and the entire community safe."
Families wishing to obtain an exemption, including a non-religious and non-medical exemption, can visit the OHA’s website to choose one of two options. Families cam watch an online education module and submit a certificate of completion or talk to a health care provider and obtain a signature on a vaccine education certificate.
According to Downum, families who intend to obtain an exemption must do so before Feb. 19 to avoid having their children barred from school. Children who show up to school without current vaccinations will be sent home.
Parents seeking immunizations for their children should contact their health care provider or local health department, or call 211Info (just dial 211 or go to 211info.org).
No one can be turned away because of the inability to pay for required vaccines. Many pharmacists can immunize children age 7 and older. Contact your neighborhood pharmacy for details.