Unvaccinated Students Could Be Sent Home 9-28-2010 - WSMV Channel 4

Unvaccinated Students Could Be Sent Home 9-28-2010

Reported by Regina Raccuglia
NASHVILLE, Tenn.Do your kids have their school vaccinations? If not, they may be sent home starting Friday.
Oct. 1 is the statewide deadline for all immunizations, and there may be more than 1,000 children who still need to get their shots or show documentation proving they did.
Many schools, including Nashville public schools, are not allowing students to attend classes if they don’t have the mandatory shots.
“They wont be able to come back to school, and that’s not good for anybody. It’s not good for the kids, because they miss instruction. That’s not good for the school district, because they'll miss instruction,” said Metro Schools’ Director of Communications Olivia Brown. “Parents are busy: They’re working, there are activities, but we do want them to know this is important."
Tennessee schools have always had immunization requirements, but this year, kindergartners, seventh graders and new students have to get shots for tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster and a second dose of the varicella, or chicken pox, vaccine.
Davidson County residents who still need a shot still have two options: visit their family physician or go to a free immunization clinic Oct. 9 at the Lentz Public Health Center.
Brian Todd, spokesman for the Nashville Public Health Department, said the state Health Department is following recommendations by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the case of the varicella vaccine, Todd said CDC officials noticed that children who had taken the vaccine at an early age were getting it in their teen years.
"What they found over the years was that a second booster was needed because there were some children who had received that vaccine when they were very young, and when they get to the teenage years they were seeing kids that had been vaccinated previously with chicken pox," he said.
As for the new certification, Todd said new immunization certificates will have to reflect the new shots "even though people may have children in school that have an existing shot record."

Copyright 2010 by WSMV.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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