Multnomah County to Hold Four Clinics to Help Students and Other Children Catch Up on Missing Vaccines

Letters go out this week saying students must be immunized by Feb. 19 or be sent home from school, Head Start or child care

A Multnomah County nurse immunizes a student at a walk-in clinic in 2013.

The Multnomah County Health Department is working to bring students up to date on missing immunizations so they can stay in school and child care. The County will hold four immunization clinics for children who are uninsured or underinsured to catch up on their vaccinations before the Feb. 19, 2014 school exclusion date.

This week, letters were mailed to about 7,700 families in Multnomah County to inform them that their children must be immunized. The letters are the final notice to parents of children in public schools, pre-schools, Head Start programs, kindergartens, private schools and other children’s facilities. About 119,000 children and students in Multnomah County must meet the state immunization requirements.

In 2013, fewer than 1 percent of students were actually sent home because their vaccination records were incomplete.

What parents need to know:

Parents of  adolescents should note that one dose of the Tdap is now required for students grade 7-12. Tdap is a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) booster.

In addition, the hepatitis A vaccine, which protects against a communicable viral infection, is a two-dose series required for children 18 months and older in childcare, pre-school, and kindergarten through 5th grade.

For parents who received a letter:

If families received an exclusion letter, they should bring the letter, along with their children’s immunization records, to their healthcare provider or clinic.

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

Health Officer says vaccines protect all

"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 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 life-long health and preventing chronic diseases.”

To learn more:

  • Multnomah County Health Department Community Immunization Program at 503-988-3406 or visit us here.
  • Multnomah Education Service District at 503-257-1760 for information on public school student vaccination records.
  • Oregon Health Authority's immunization site here

Upcoming clinics:

  • Feb. 8, 2014 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) Reynolds Middle School, 1200 NE 201st Avenue. Fairview, OR 97024
  • Feb. 15, 2014 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.)  David Douglas Administration Building, 1500 SE 130th Ave., Portland, OR 97233
  • Feb. 18, 2014 (9 a.m - 3 p.m.) Portland State Office Building, 800 N.E. Oregon St., 1st Floor, Portland, OR 97232 
  • Feb. 19, 2014 (9 a.m.-3 p.m.) East County Services Building,  Sharron Kelley Room  2nd Floor, 600 NE 8th St., Gresham, OR 97030
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Extra/Notes: 

For reporters:

Dr. Paul Lewis, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist who serves as the Multnomah County and Clackamas County Health Officer, will be available for interviews on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Portland State Office Building, 800 N.E. Oregon St., 1st Floor.

 

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