Don’t be excluded

School Exclusion Day is fast approaching, and parents whose children need immunizations should get those taken care of in the next week and a half.

February 21 is the deadline to ensure your child’s immunizations are up to date. If children are lacking vaccinations, they will not be allowed to attend school, preschool, Head Start, or other childcare programs. Children must have the required shots or a nonmedical exemption to stay in or return to school.

What are the required shots? The following document from Oregon Health Authority shows all immunizations required for the 2017-18 school year. Additional information is available here.

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Some parents choose not to immunize their children. Those who forgo vaccinations must either complete an online training or talk with their primary care provider. More information about nonmedical exemptions is available here.

There are many reasons parents exempt their children from vaccines, but cost should never be one of them. Lake County Public Health offers Oregon’s Vaccines for Children Program, which gives no-cost immunizations to children whose health insurance doesn’t cover some or all vaccines, or whose insurance only covers vaccines until a child reaches a certain age. People without insurance and those with Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) are eligible for the Vaccines for Children program. Talk to Public Health at its Lakeview (541-947-6045) and Christmas Valley (541-576-2176) offices to learn more about this program.

Most children in Lake County have been immunized. Oregon Health Authority information shows Lakeview’s elementary schools, including Union School, Daly Middle School, and Lakeview High School have 95 to 100 percent of students fully vaccinated. At North Lake School, 80 to 89.9 percent of the student population is fully vaccinated. See how Lake County schools rate against the rest of the state in this map created by OHA.

Are you unsure whether vaccines are important? Want to know if they're really safe? Check out this resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, talk to your primary care provider, or contact Lake County Public Health.