On February 20, Oregon students who are unaware of their vaccinations or who do not have a valid exemption on file will not be allowed to go to school as long as They will not have done it.

The Immunization Exclusion Day is a mandatory state-wide exclusion for all schools and facilities for children.

But this year, the deadline is approaching a few weeks after a measles outbreak in the Portland area and in southwest Washington sent more than 55 unvaccinated people to hospitals.

Jennifer Vines, the deputy health officer of Multnomah County, told KATU News that she usually saw a case of measles here and there, but never so much.

"For this sector, it's a high number," she said. "We have seen the number of parents delaying or declining vaccines in recent years and, in addition to always promoting the vaccine, we had to prepare for the response to an epidemic."

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Stephanie Whetzel, coordinator of early childhood programs at Salem-Keizer Public School, said there had been no known cases of measles in the Salem or Keizer regions, adding that the best defense was to get vaccinated.

All children in public and private schools, kindergartens, Head Start and licensed childcare facilities are required by law to have up-to-date documentation on their vaccinations or to benefit from any kind of childcare. ;a derogation.

Families who do not wish to vaccinate their child for non-medical reasons must either look at an online education module and submit a certificate of completion, either speak to a health care provider and have them sign by the practitioner a certificate of education on the vaccine.

This applies when families vaccinate for most things, but have decided to refuse or delay individual vaccines.

95% of vaccinated students

In December, Salem-Keizer District organized school-based immunization clinics in a handful of schools for students who would be affected by the deadline for exclusion.

District officials said the decision on which schools would host the clinics would be based on variables such as vaccination rates and family needs. If the school was a Grade 1 school, it means that a larger portion of students come from low-income families.

The clinics were held at the Houck, Leslie, Parrish, Stephens and Waldo colleges and at McKay High School. Students from North Salem High School who came to Parrish were also included.

District officials said 165 students were vaccinated at these clinics.

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That being said, Emily Hicks, from the district's communications department, said the number did not accurately reflect the total number of vaccines administered, as students may have received multiple vaccines.

According to district data on Thursday, 95 percent of Salem-Keizer students were fully immunized.

The remaining 5% includes students who are not yet fully immunized, those whose families have chosen not to be vaccinated for at least one vaccine, as well as those who are medically exempt and can not be vaccinated.

The Valley Inquiry Charter School is the only elementary school in the district with an immersion rate of less than 90%, with an 83% vaccination rate as of Thursday.

Jane Goodall Environmental College in Salem, known as JGEMS, is the only college under 90, with a total of 86%.

West Salem High School has the lowest rate of six traditional high schools, but still totals 94%.

Coordinator Whetzel said that in some cases, families did not meet the requirements in time and that students were to be excluded from school, but they tried to work with them in advance so that they would not have to go to school. no student spends his or her teaching time.

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The reason that it misses this deadline can be due to various reasons, such as waiting for an appointment or consulting a doctor.

Whetzel stated that the longest time she saw an excluded student was a week.

Shots available for uninsured children

According to Marion County Health Department officials, uninsured children can still get an appointment. They will have to pay an administration fee of $ 21.96 per shot.

County officials said that they did not refuse people for their inability to pay. They have been well filled at their appointments and will organize a clinic on the day of exclusion.

"We want children and families in good health," said Whetzel. "One way to do this is to make sure all students are aware of all the requirements and that families work with health care providers if they choose to be exempt.

"We want the children to stay," she said. "We want to prevent children from getting sick and that's one way to do it."

Immunization rates for schools and districts are included in their report cards collected by the Oregon Department of Education. To see yours, go to https://www.ode.state.or.us/data/reportcard/reports.aspx.

For more information, contact:

  • Marion County Department of Health at 503-588-5342
  • Polk County Health Department at 503-623-8175
  • Salem-Keizer Public Schools at 503-399-3000
  • Contact journalist Natalie Pate at npate@StatesmanJournal.com at 503-399-6745, or follow her on Twitter @Nataliempate or Facebook at www.Facebook.com/nataliepatejournalist.

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