Immunization 'Exclusion Day' arrives on Feb. 15

Schools require up-to-date vaccination records for school attendance after that date

Through recent communications, Siuslaw and Mapleton School Districts reminded parents and guardians of school age children, from preschool through high school, that "Exclusion Day" arrives on Wednesday, Feb. 15.
   This is the day that parents and students have to provide verification of all required age specific vaccines, or furnish school officials with the state approved certifications for either a Medical or Non- Medical exemption to immunization .
   Students who are unable to provide this information will not be allowed to attend school until the proper documentation is turned in to school authorities.
   The Mapleton and Siuslaw schools have previously distributed information regarding the required vaccines and the suggested immunization age.
   Mapleton School Superintendent Jodi O'Mara said, "Prior to the current school year, all parents fill out or supply immunization records for that student. The school medical staff then reviews those records and informs parents of needed immunizations."
   These assessments are usually given to the student's parents by Feb. 1, allowing time for students to receive the missing vaccinations. This process does not apply for those that have requested and received exemptions to immunizations .
   All Non-Medical exemption requests have to be submitted prior to "Exclusion Day." These requests should consist of a Certification of Immunization Status and a Vaccine Education Certificate, attained after meeting with a health care practitioner or from the on-line vaccine education module.
   Students that attend Siuslaw schools should have already received notifications of needed vaccinations, according to Siuslaw School Superintendent Andy Grzeskowski.
   "The biggest issue that we run into is parents trying to schedule appointments with the doctor at the last minute to get the vaccinations," Grzeskowski said. "But parents don't have to wait for a regular appointment with their doctor, immunizations can be given by laboratory staff on short notice."
   The Center for Disease Control encourages immunization for all students and cites a direct linkage between high immunization rates and a community's ability to fight numerous illnesses.
   It also reports that as recently as 2014, Oregon had the nation's highest rate of Non-Medical Student Immunization Exemptions at 7.1 percent. Information regarding local immunization rates must be distributed to parents according to Oregon law.
   The reason for this policy, according to the laws sponsor , Elizbeth Steiner Hayward, is two-fold .
   She said she believes that parents are better protected sending their children to schools with high immunization rates and that it facilitates the gathering of data for studies on the efficacy of vaccines.
   The immunization rate for students in Lane County according to the most recent CDC report is 88 percent.
   For more information on the upcoming immunization deadline, contact Mapleton or Siuslaw School Districts.

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