Published: Sat, January 04, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Get Vaccinated or Don't Return From Break, Students Told

Get Vaccinated or Don't Return From Break, Students Told

Washington state law requires all students to get their MMR vaccination or have a signed certificate of exemption.

The district told KOMO News in Seattle that roughly 2,300 of the district's 53,627 students still need to be vaccinated, and they have until January 8 to do so.

A nurse holds up a one dose bottle and a prepared syringe of measles, mumps and rubella virus vaccine made by Merck at the Utah County Health Department on April 29, 2019.

The district is hosting three free clinics over winter break to help students get their required vaccines.

It came after the state saw two measles outbreaks this year for a total of 87 cases, the highest since 1990.

The district posted a notice on December 20 informing parents of the decision, citing Washington state law and the state's recently-passed bill that removes the "personal" and "philosophical" options to exempt children from the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.

Students who do not comply with vaccination requirements will be left out of school and those absences will count as unexcused.

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"Student records must reflect updated immunization status by January 8, 2020, or students can not attend school until the required information is provided to the school nurse", a notice on the district's website states.

"Unfortunately, by state law we have to exclude them", district spokesman Tim Robinson told the outlet.

Officials say the state law still permits religious and medical exemptions. "I know all schools want to avoid it because you don't want students to miss any school time".

If parents decide that they still want to prevent their children from being vaccinated, the school district says that all the days they miss due to the ban will be treated as non-absenteeism.

"We thought she had got them, but she didn't", Anthony explained, "so the school put us on notice to say, 'Hey, if she don't get this shot, she can't come back to school'". In 2019, the USA has seen almost 1,300 measles cases from January through November, the most in 27 years.

A measles outbreak across the nation has hit the state of Washington particularly hard.

In 2019, 124 people were hospitalized and 61 people suffered complications such as pneumonia.

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