Oregon law requires that all children attending public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified child care facilities have up-to-date immunization documentation (or have an exemption) to remain in school, and the date for exclusion this year is Wednesday, Feb. 19.

 The goal is to make sure children are fully protected against vaccine-preventable diseases while attending school. Immunization is a safe way to help protect your family, your school and your community, against disease, according to a news release from the North Central Public Health District.  

Each year, North Central Public Health District sends a letter to the parents of children that need additional immunizations, indicating what additional immunizations a child needs.  Letters are in the mail this week.

North Central Public Health District typically receives a large number of walk-in clients needing to be immunized the week of school exclusion.  Walk-in clinic hours that week will be Wednesday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. Clients are seen on a first-come-first-served basis.

 Parents seeking immunization for their child should contact their primary care provider, their pharmacist (if the child is over 11 years of age) or North Central Public Health District during their walk-in clinic hours.  

 You can also call 211 for information about where to go for immunizations in your area.   

In recent years there have been changes:  The hepatitis A vaccine, which protects against a communicable viral infection, is a two-dose series now required for children 18 months through tenth grade; Parents wanting a new non-medical exemption for their child must provide documentation that they have received education about the benefits and risks of immunization on a Vaccine Education Certificate. Parents can get education from a health care practitioner or from watching an online vaccine education module. More information about the new process is available at www.healthoregon.org/vaccineexemption.

On Feb. 19, children will not be able to attend school or child care if their records show missing immunizations.   

No child will be turned away from North Central Public Health District due to a parents’ inability to pay for required vaccines.

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