It’s time for back to school immunizations

With the start of the school year fast approaching, Deschutes County Health Services is reminding parents to make sure their children have all the immunizations they need to go to school and stay healthy.

“It’s really important to remember diseases such as measles and pertussis still exist and that children should be up to date on their shots before they enter childcare or school,” said Jill Johnson, immunization program coordinator for health services.

Oregon law requires that children in school, preschool or a childcare facility need proof that they are protected against measles, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A and B and varicella. Parents should take note that one dose of Tdap vaccine is required for incoming 7th graders.  Tdap is a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) booster. Whooping cough is a serious health concern in Oregon with more than 40 cases recorded last year in Deschutes County.

Parents need to have documentation showing proof of immunizations, a medical exemption or a non-medical exemption on file with their child’s school before December 2016 or they will receive a notice stating that the child will be excluded from school or daycare because of the missing immunization records.

Only those who have a medical reason for not being vaccinated or have completed the education required for a non-medical exemption are exempt. For more information on immunization requirements and exemptions, visit: https://public.health.oregon.gov/PreventionWellness/VaccinesImmunization/GettingImmunized/Pages/SchParents.aspx.

Parents can call their child’s health care provider, a school-based health center or  Deschutes County Health Services at 541-322-7400 to make an immunization appointment.   Also, most pharmacies provide immunizations for children 11 years and older.

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