BEND, Ore. -

The Deschutes County Health Services Department wants to remind parents that children will not be able to attend school or child care starting Wednesday, February 19 if their records on file show missing immunizations.

State law requires that all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start, and certified child care facilities, have up-to-date documentation on their immunizations, or have a religious or medical exemption.

Information for parents about updated vaccine requirements:

  1. Parents of adolescents should be aware that one dose of Tdap vaccine is required for seventh- through 12th-graders. Tdap is a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) booster.
  1. The hepatitis A vaccine, which protects against a communicable viral infection, is a two-dose series required for children 18 months and older in child care, preschool and kindergarten through fifth grade.

If school and child care vaccination records are not up-to-date, the child will be sent home on February 19.

In 2013, Deschutes County Health Services sent 1,023 letters to parents and guardians informing them that their children needed immunizations to stay in school or child care.

Many children get letters because their school or day care records are not updated, even though they may have all of their shots.  It is important for parents to update their child’s immunization record at school or child care after every shot.

Don’t delay! Parents seeking immunizations for their children should contact their health care provider or call Deschutes County Health Services (DCHS) at (541) 322-7400 to make an appointment at one of the County’s clinics. No child will be turned away due to the inability to pay for required vaccines. Pharmacists can also immunize children age 11 and older. Contact your neighborhood pharmacy for details.

For more information about child immunizations, please visit the Deschutes County website page www.deschutes.org/immunizations or call (541) 322-7400.