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Seattle Schools Send Home Unvaccinated Students

Wednesday was the deadline for proving compliance
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2020 4:50 PM CST
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A chickenpox (also known as varicella) vaccine sits next to syringes and ready for a student at a free immunization clinic at a Seattle public school on Dec. 30.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(Newser) – Hundreds of students were shut out of school Wednesday in Seattle because records didn't show they'd had the required vaccinations. A few weeks ago, 2,200 students didn't have vaccinations on file, the Times reports. After warnings were sent out about the Wednesday deadline and free vaccination clinics were held, the figure had dropped to 799 on Tuesday afternoon. At 10am Wednesday, 565 public school students couldn't demonstrate compliance. Those who went to school were put in a supervised room until their parents could pick them up. Students who could show they had a vaccination appointment scheduled were allowed in class, per ABC.

Staff members of at least one school visited the homes of students lacking records over the holiday break. Officials said they wouldn't bar anyone from a couple of schools that have high numbers of students who've recently moved to Seattle from other countries. Vaccination requirements vary, and getting records up-to-date can be complicated. Schools also won't keep out students who present a signed medical or religious exemption certificate. Washington law no longer lets parents claim a personal exemption for their children from the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Students will be charged with an unexcused absence for each day they're out until they're up-to-date, per MyNorthwest, when the record will be wiped clean. (Read more vaccinations stories.)

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