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Children must have required vaccines before deadline or stay home from schools, daycare

PMG FILE PHOTO - A child gets an immunization at a Multnomah County clinic. Children across Oregon must show proof of up-to-date vaccinations by Feb. 19 to be able to attend schools or childcare facilities.Parents and guardians have until Wednesday, Feb. 19, to make sure their children are up to date on their immunizations. Those who aren't won't be allowed to attend school or childcare facilities.

School exclusion day is Feb. 19 for all counties in Oregon.

A number of clinics will be held in Washington County before and on Exclusion Day.

In Tigard/Tualatin:

Neighborhood Health Center will hold a vaccination clinic 7 a.m. to noon Monday, Feb. 10, at James Templeton Elementary School, located at 9500 S.W. Murdock St. in Tigard.

That same week, another NHC clinic will take place Thursday, Feb. 13, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Tualatin High School, 22300 S.W. Boones Ferry Road in Tualatin, just north of Wilsonville.

Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center will offer immunizations on Wednesday, Feb. 19 — Exclusion Day — at school-based health centers, including Tigard High School, 9000 S.W. Durham Road in Tigard.

Virginia Garcia's school-based health center clinics will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 19.

Students 14 and under need to have a legal guardian present, a news release from Washington County Health & Human Services notes. Students 15 and older can go on their own, but ID and insurance information is required. "Patients will be billed according to their ability to pay," the county health department noted. "Proof of income is required to be eligible for discount. No patient will be turned away for their inability to pay."

Beaverton/Hillsboro:

Immunizations are also available through Neighborhood Health Center's school-based health center at Merlo Station High School, 1841 S.W. Merlo Drive in Beaverton, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For appointments, call 503-941-3210.

For an appointment at NHC's Tanasbourne Medical & Dental clinic, located at 10690 N.E. Cornell Road, Suite 220, in Hillsboro, call 503-848-5861.

Residents can also visit a primary care provider. Children 12 and up should be able to get the shots they need through a pharmacy.

Those who can't be immuized due to a medical condition or those who want to adhere to a slower vaccine schedule must provide either a medical or non-medical exemption form.

More families opting out of vaccines

State health records show that across Oregon, the number of families choosing to opt out of vaccinations for non-medical reasons has gone up since 2012, but those non-immunized students still constitute a small minority.

In 2019, 95% of kindergarteners through high school seniors in Washington County were immunized, while 3.6% had a non-medical exemption on file for one or more vaccine. Just 1.4% of kids and teens had a non-medical exemption for all required vaccines, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Parents can choose to follow a slower immunization schedule, but only after receiving information via a Vaccine Education Module.

Public health officials are urging families to get their children up to date on shots.

"Vaccines have been proven to be safe, effective and keep people healthy," says Christina Baumann, Washington County health officer. "We know that people want to do what's best for their own and their children's health. It's important to remember that by getting yourself and your children vaccinated, you are also helping to protect the most vulnerable in our community, such as babies, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems."

What's needed?

Immunization schedules vary depending on age and vaccination history, but children entering kindergarten in Oregon should have shots to protect against the following:

Diphtheria

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis B

Measles

Mumps

Pertussis

Polio

Rubella

Tetanus

Varicella (chickenpox)


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