Health & Fitness

No school for Wichita students not up to date on vaccinations

Wichita school district students who aren't up to date on their required immunizations will be excluded from school beginning Nov. 8.

Kathy Hubka, coordinator of health services for the school district, said school nurses have been notifying parents since enrollment week about the requirements.

Required immunizations depend on the age of the student.

Hubka said the exclusions could have the biggest effect on middle school students because immunization requirements for them underwent major changes for the 2009-10 school year. This year, fewer than 1,000 middle school students are affected, she estimated, with even fewer students affected at the elementary or high school level.

"Parents really have had a lot of notice, but there's always a few who don't take heed," Hubka said.

Students are allowed back to school when immunizations are up to date.

Last year, students weren't excluded until January because school nurses and the Sedgwick County Health Department were overwhelmed with H1N1 influenza work, Hubka said.

The requirements affect all students, from pre-kindergarten through age 21.

Kansas schools, including the Wichita public schools, will allow an unvaccinated child to attend school under two conditions:

- The child has an annual written statement from his physician saying that the child's life or health would be endangered by undergoing the inoculation.

- 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.