Immunization Requirements May Cause MISD Students to Stay Home

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- On October 1st, hundreds of students may be told to stay home from school if they don't have their required shots. The state added several new vaccine requirements for the 2009/2010 school year.

The deadline was extended until September 30th, but still district officials say they're clamoring to get the message out to parents because more than half of the incoming seventh graders don't have the vaccinations.

"It's critical that they get it done," Tracey Dees, who heads up Health Services for MISD said.

Dees also said that MISD has put out the information, but about 800 students aren't vaccinated.

"We're doing everything we can to encourage parents to go ahead and get those kids in and get those vaccines. We do not want to exclude those kids from school," Dees said.

Michelle Ortega says her mother didn't even know her brother may need more shots.

"She had gone up to the clinic and they told her my brother didn't need any other vaccines," Ortega said they now plan to go back to the clinic to make sure the seventh grader doesn't miss any school.

If the students don't have all their required vaccinations, they won't be allowed into their classes until they're vaccinated or until parents formally opt out of the vaccinations.

Dees says seventh grade students need a Tdap booster (Tetanus, Diptheria, and Pertussis), a meningococcal vaccine, or a varicella vaccine booster (Chicken Pox).

"All of those are really important for kids to be healthy, so they can come to school and can learn," Dees said parents can take their kids either to their own doctor or to the Health Department Mon-Friday until 4 pm and on Mondays until 7pm.

The deadline is September 30th.