After winter break, Seattle Public Schools will begin excluding students who don’t have complete vaccination records.
Starting Jan. 8, students without those records who show up anyway will be sent to a designated room at their school while their families are notified, said district spokesman Tim Robinson. That requirement means students need to have records showing they’ve received shots for illnesses such as polio, hepatitis B and the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR).
The district, with about 53,000 students, still doesn’t have immunization paperwork for 2,247 of them, said Robinson. The district sent letters to their families earlier this month. On Jan. 6, two days before the exclusion deadline, they will also receive a warning call.
In November, the district said its vaccination rate for students was about 88%.
Under state law, families are supposed to provide proof of exemption or vaccinations within a month of when school starts. But many districts, including Seattle, Bellevue and Lake Washington, have struggled with families not complying with the law, according to a report from the state auditor’s office. During the 2017-2018 school year, 14% of Seattle kindergartners were out of compliance. The report also found roughly 1 in 10 school districts didn’t supply the state with data about their vaccination rates at all.
A new law prohibiting personal exemptions for the MMR vaccines, combined with changes to the way school nurses input vaccine records, complicated things further this year.
Ahead of the deadline, the district is offering three free immunization clinics at Seattle schools in partnership with Kaiser Permanente and International Community Health Services. Parents or guardians must accompany the student, but students don’t need to show proof of insurance or citizenship. Spanish interpretation is provided on-site. The district is encouraging parents to call 206-332-7160 ahead of time to make an appointment.
- Friday, Dec. 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Aki Kurose Middle School
3928 S. Graham St.
- Monday, Dec. 30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Aki Kurose Middle School
- Friday, Jan. 3, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Seattle World School
1700 Union Street
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