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Children will be sent home from school if immunization documentation is not up to date

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - School Exclusion Day is Feb. 19.

School Exclusion Day is Feb. 19, and soon parents will be getting notified if their children are missing any critical vaccinations.

Under state law, all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified child care facilities must have up-to-date documentation on their immunizations or have an exemption. 

If school and child care vaccination records are not up to date on Feb. 19, the child will be sent home.

According to Stacy Hansen, immunization coordinator for Crook County Health Department, school exclusion letters will be mailed out to Crook County parents on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Some parents may have also received emails from Crook County School District making them aware that they might receive an exclusion letter.

Of the roughly 2,800 students attending Crook County schools, about 180 of them are at risk for exclusion. The most concerning illnesses that protection is sought againsts are diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and hepatitis A and B as well as measles, mumps, rubella and polio.

"After that, we have five additional structured shot clinics (at the health department)," Hansen said. "We are bringing in an extra nurse that will be exclusively giving vaccinations on Feb. 6, 11, 13 and 18 as well as Feb. 20, which is one day after School Exclusion Day."

The hours of the clinics are 8-11:30 a.m. and 1-4:30 p.m.

Hansen said that parents can make appointments for other days if they are not able to show up at the scheduled clinics.

The need for vaccines has become greater recently, Hansen said, because of a change in what illnesses people can contract in the community and throughout Oregon.

"The last year in Central Oregon, there has been a significant increase in preventable diseases such as pertussis," she said. "These vaccines are to protect the entire population of the community as well as the individual. They are easily obtained, very effective and very safe."

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