Wednesday, June 19, 2013
No Shots, No School: ASD Immunization Policy
Religious and medical exemptions are available, but students who aren’t vaccinated can’t come to school during some illness outbreaks which can last for months.
Nationwide cases of measles are on the rise and health officials are calling it the first measles outbreak in 15 years.
That’s why they're stressing that your children are up to date on their immunizations.
Health officials know of at least 156 cases of measles throughout the country, more than two-thirds of which were contracted overseas and brought back stateside.
State health officials say that since more people are traveling, the risk of spreading diseases perceived as “illnesses of the past” is increasing.
But a growing number of parents are choosing not to vaccinate their kids because they say vaccines can sometimes cause more harm than good.
Religious and medical exemptions are available within the Anchorage School District, but students who aren’t vaccinated must stay home during outbreaks of whatever illnesses may be at school –sometimes for months— until the risk of infection has passed.
“A few years ago we started seeing an outbreak of chickenpox in children that were immunized. That's when state requirements started including having a second chickenpox immunization,” said Wendy Parsons, a nurse at Campbell Elementary School.
If you'd like to vaccinate your children for school, those immunizations are free, but health care providers urge parents not to procrastinate. The backlog could mean that your child will miss school.
“If it helps my kids and protects my kids, why not? If some other kids are not doing it at least my kids are protected,” said pro-vaccination parent Isapela Mavaega.
The school district's policy is: no shots, no school.