Multnomah County helps families catch up on immunizations before School Exclusion Day Feb. 17, 2016

The Multnomah County Health Department will hold four immunization clinics for children who are uninsured or under-insured to catch up on their vaccinations before the Feb. 17, 2016 school exclusion date.

State law requires children attending school, preschool and childcare to be immunized or get an exemption for medical or nonmedical reasons.

This week, letters were mailed to about 9,500 families in Multnomah County to inform them that their children are missing needed shots and must be immunized.  The letters are the final notice to parents of children in public, private and alternative schools, preschools, Head Start programs, kindergartens and child care facilities.   Nearly 122,000 children and students in Multnomah County must meet the state immunization requirements.

“Immunizations in school-aged children help ensure everyone’s health now - and in the future,” said Dr. Paul Lewis, Multnomah County Health Officer.  “Vaccines protect each child, their school, their community and especially those who are too young or too ill to be vaccinated.”

“By preventing illness, vaccines help keep kids in school and we know that school attendance is a key predictor of lifelong health outcomes and prevention of chronic disease."

State officials say that, by far, most parents in Oregon vaccinate their children. In 2015, fewer than one percent of children and students were actually sent home because their vaccination records were incomplete.

New vaccinations required

Parents of adolescents should note that one dose of the Tdap is now required for students grades 7 through 12.  Tdap is the tetanus,  diptheria and pertussis (whooping cough) booster.

The Hepatitis A vaccine is also required for children and students 18 months and older in childcare, preschool and kindergarten through 7th grade.

For parents who received a letter

If families receive an exclusion letter, they should bring the letter along with their children’s immunization records and health card to their health care provider or clinic.

Families with health insurance are asked to see their regular medical provider.  Uninsured and underinsured families should contact the Multnomah County Health Department Community Immunization clinic or attend one of the upcoming clinics.

Religious exemptions signed before 2014 no longer valid, new exemption required

Last July, Gov. Kate Brown signed a new law  declaring that religious exemptions signed before March 1, 2014 were no longer valid. As a result, parents can either get the required vaccines for their child or they must fill out a nonmedical exemption and receive vaccine education about the vaccines from which they wish to exempt their children.

This vaccine education is available from primary care providers, or by watching an online vaccine education video. Parents must then bring the  required documentation to their child’s facility or school. More information on the exemptions are here (link is external).:

To learn more:

·         Multnomah County Health Department Community Immunization Program at 503-988-3406 or visit the website.

·         Multnomah Education Service District (link is external)at 503-257-1760 for information on public school student vaccination records.

·         Oregon Health Authority’s website. (link is external)

 

Children who are uninsured or underinsured can get caught up at these special events:

Feb. 6, 2016

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Reynolds Middle School

1200 NE 201st Avenue

Fairview, OR 97024
 

 Feb. 13, 2016

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

David Douglas Administration Building

1500 SE 130th Avenue

Portland, OR 97233

Feb. 16, 2016

9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Portland State Office Building

800 N.E. Oregon St., 1st Floor

Portland, OR 97232

Feb. 17, 2016

9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

East County Services Bldg.

Sharron Kelley Room  2nd Floor

600 NE 8th St.,

Gresham, OR 97030

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