Multnomah Public Health has extended the deadline for school exclusion by two months. The extension until April 20, will allow families to make sure their children have their required vaccinations or proof of non-medical exemption to avoid being excluded from school.
State law requires that all children in schools, preschools and child care facilities have current records of immunization.
Required immunizations are divided into age/grade categories. Age two months to starting pre-Kindergarten have different requirements than Kindergarten-12th grade.
A listing of immunizations can be found at bit.ly/ORImmunizations and includes base requirements for full-time college and university students.
Each year ahead of the deadline, health departments across the state send letters to families with children whose vaccination records are incomplete.
This year, to accommodate challenges to vaccine access and pandemic-caused medical staff shortages, Oregon Health Authority allowed local health departments to delay immunization reporting and exclusion deadlines.
Exclusion orders were mailed to families of children in preschools, child care and private schools February 9. Exclusion orders will be mailed to families of children in public and charter schools March 2.
Public Health Director Jessica Guernsey said, “We know that the pandemic has created challenges for families in terms of routine vaccine access. We hope giving families additional time to access vaccines will help children stay in school.”
Families with health insurance are encouraged to seek vaccinations from their regular medical providers.
Vaccinations and primary care, with no out-of-pocket cost, is available to children ages 5-18 at any of Multnomah County’s nine Student Health Centers, located in high schools.
Both Cleveland and Franklin high schools have a Student Health Center and a full listing of the Centers, including hours and contact numbers is at bit.ly/StudentHealthCenters.
Multnomah County also operates seven primary care clinics which provide low-cost family health care to all Multnomah County residents, including those who are low-income and uninsured. Clinic locations and hours are at bit.ly/MultCoPCC.
Vaccinations are the most effective way to protect children from preventable diseases such as whooping cough, mumps and measles.
The Centers for Disease Control offers a listing of safety information by vaccine, common vaccine safety questions/concerns and more at bit.ly/CDCvaxinfo.