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Wichita district: Students not up to date on shots won’t be allowed in school

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, at 3:27 p.m.

Wichita school district students who aren’t up to date on their required immunizations will be excluded from school beginning Nov. 4.

Officials said school nurses have been notifying parents about the requirements. Since enrollment, parents whose children aren’t up to date on shots should have gotten letters, phone calls, e-mails or notifications at parent-teacher conferences.

“We have taken every opportunity to inform parents whose children are not in compliance because we don’t want the students to miss school,” said Kathy Hubka, director of health services for the school district.

Beginning Nov. 4, students at Wichita schools will be pulled out of class and told they will not be allowed to return until their immunizations are up to date. For Kansas immunization requirements, contact your school nurse or health care provider.

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.

During suspected disease outbreaks, any child claiming an exemption will be subject to automatic exclusion from school.

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.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or stobias@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.

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