Wichita school district students who aren’t up to date on their required immunizations will be excluded from school beginning Monday.
School district officials said school nurses have been notifying parents since last spring about the requirements. Since enrollment, parents whose children aren’t up to date on shots have gotten letters, phone calls and notifications at parent-teacher conferences.
Even so, students at many Wichita schools were pulled out of class or told they would not be allowed to attend until their immunizations are up to date. A district spokeswoman said the number of students excluded from school Monday was not immediately available.
The state’s current immunization requirements are:
• Tdap: single Tdap required for grades seven to nine if not previously vaccinated with three-dose series.
• Polio: four doses for ages 5-6.
• Varicella (chicken pox): Kindergarten, first- and second-grade students and seventh-grade students need two doses. Students in grades three to six and eight to 11 are required to have at least one dose.
• Hepatitis B: three doses required through grade 11.
If parents received a notice but think their child has the required shots, they should contact the school nurse to be sure. Some doctors administer a different version of the Tdap vaccine, called DTaP, but either will meet the requirement.
Kansas schools allow an unvaccinated child to attend school under two conditions:
• The child has an annual written statement from his or her physician saying that the child’s life or health would be endangered by undergoing the inoculation.
• Or, the parent or guardian has signed a written statement that the child is an adherent of a religious denomination whose teachings are opposed to inoculations.
Students who need shots but do not have insurance or a regular health care provider will be directed to the Sedgwick County Health Department or to a safety-net clinic such as GraceMed or Hunter Health Clinic, which provide immunizations at little or no cost.