With the February 21st deadline fast-approaching for updating child vaccinations, the Oregon Immunization Program (OIP) reminds parents and caregivers that their children may miss out on school or childcare if their records show missing shots.
The third Wednesday in February is known as "School Exclusion Day." Under Oregon law, all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified childcare facilities must submit documentation showing they are up-to-date on their required immunizations or have an acceptable exemption.
If a child's vaccination records do not show up-to-date immunizations by February 21st, their school or childcare center will send them home.
Leading up to School Exclusion Day last year, local health departments in Oregon sent 26,688 letters to parents and caregivers informing them that they needed to submit records showing up-to-date immunizations for their children. That led to a total of 4,048 children being sent home and not being able to attend school until their families provided the necessary vaccination records.
This year, local public health authorities mailed letters to families this week.
Parents and caregivers 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 due to their inability to pay for required vaccines.
Many pharmacists can immunize children ages 7 and older. OIP encourages families to contact their neighborhood pharmacy for more details.