DESCHUTES COUNTY -- With some schools already open and the rest set to begin next Tuesday, parents are asked to make sure their children are up-to-date on their immunizations. Deschutes County Immunization Coordinator Jill Johnson says vaccines are necessary for keeping people safe. "By state mandate, immunizations are required at all public and private schools, pre-schools, certified day care and Head Start programs."
Johnson tells KBND News the immunization rate in Deschutes County is good but there are some pockets of schools that don't have high immunization rates. "That puts the school or the children at school at risk for outbreaks should one of the vaccine preventable diseases be introduced there." Parents must have documentation showing proof of immunizations, a medical exemption, or non-medical exemption on file with their child's school.
Johnson says there are 11 vaccinations that are required for each child, including pertussis, also known as whooping cough. "Pertussis we've had cases in Deschutes County recently, with the end of the school year and over the summer, so, that's an especially important vaccine, and then several others that will keep kids healthy at school." Parents have options when it comes to getting kids vaccinated. "And we have 6 school-based health centers and any child can go to those, it doesn't matter if they attend that school or not."
If kids are 7 years or older, they can go to a pharmacy for shots.