BEND, OR -- Oregon’s exclusion day is coming up on Wednesday. "What that means is, every parent who’s kids were not up to date on vaccines or their records were not up to date with the schools, would’ve received an exclusion letter from the county," says Deschutes County Public Health's Heather Kaisner. "Which means, if you got that letter, you need to make sure you get your kids updated with the needed vaccines and get the information to schools before February 17, or your children will be excluded from school."
Kaisner tells KBND News the department sent about 1,800 reminder letters to families at risk. "All the letters were sent out last week, so if you haven’t gotten a letter yet, you’re probably not going to get one. If you did get that letter, make an appointment as soon as you can if your child needs vaccines. If you can’t get in with your doctor, we do have appointments at the health department, both in Bend and Redmond."
About 700 more reminder letters were sent this week, compared to last year. Kaisner says that spike is likely due to a change in rules." We no longer have 'religious exemptions.' They’re now called 'Non medical exemptions,' which means parents can still opt out of vaccines, but they need to watch a vaccine module, get a certificate and give that to the school. So, those kids that had religious exemptions prior to March 2014, they were grandfathered in; they’re not anymore." Students will be excluded from school or daycare if records are not updated before Wednesday.