Oregon Immunization ‘School Exclusion Day’ Arrives

Required school and child care vaccinations include whooping cough, polio, chicken pox and measles
children's classroom
(Precision Vaccinations)

School-age children in Oregon who are not current with their vaccinations will be sent home from school or childcare if their records on file show missing immunizations.

Starting February 21, 2018, which is named “School Exclusion Day”, required vaccinations include those for MMR, DPaT, polio, chicken pox, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, HIB and measles, according to the Oregon Health Authority’s website.

The Oregon Immunization Program is reminding parents that state law requires that all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified child care facilities have up-to-date documentation on their immunizations, or have an exemption.

An analysis by The Oregonian/OregonLive shows that nearly 65 percent of the state's public charter schools lack what is called ‘herd-immunity’ against measles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest 95 percent of people need to be immunized to achieve ‘herd-immunity.

This means not enough children in Oregon are immunized to prevent diseases such as measles from impacting an entire community.

According to Oregon law, no eligible person can be turned away from a local health department because of inability to pay for the required vaccines.

Oregon health departments sent 29,932 letters to parents and guardians informing them their children needed immunizations to stay in school or child care.

“Immunization keeps schools and the entire community healthy and safe,” said Stacy de Assis Matthews, school law coordinator in the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division.

“It is the best way to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases such as whooping cough and measles.”

Parents seeking immunizations for their children should contact their healthcare provider or local health department, or call 211Info (dial 211 or go to 211info.org).

Many pharmacists can immunize children 7 years and older in Oregon.

Paul Cieslak, MD, medical director for the Oregon Immunization Program, said, "Vaccines give kids the immunity they need without their having to suffer the illnesses. They’re perhaps the best ounce of prevention kids can get."

More information on school immunizations is at the Immunization Program website.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information.

Flu vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.