Diseases that were thought to be part of our past are now a worry for many parents, largely as a result of the debate over immunizations. But it is such an important topic, especially as families start thinking about heading back to school in just a few weeks. Shandie Knorr, a school nurse with the Canyons School District, joined Nicea DeGering, with information about immunizations, students and schools.
The Utah Immunization Rule for Students requires proof of immunizations or exemption for all children who attend public, private and parochial schools, licensed day care centers, licensed family home care, a preschool within a school or a Head Start program.
Follow the immunization schedule and keep a written record for each child. Update your child’s record each time vaccines are given. Give a copy to your child’s school or child care program at registration. Reminder: you need written proof of all immunizations. Nothing else will be accepted.
If immunization records have been lost, first, contact the medical office where the vaccines were given. Chances are, they will have a copy. If that is not possible, your child can be conditionally enrolled. A child may be conditionally enrolled in a school or child-care program if the child has received at least one dose of each vaccine required for his/her age and is currently on schedule to complete the remaining doses. If the child does not get the next vaccine within one calendar month after the scheduled due date, conditional enrollment ends and the child will be excluded from attendance.
In the event of an outbreak of any vaccine-preventable disease, children claiming any exemption will be kept out of school as long as the outbreak lasts. The same goes for employees. Canyons District has a policy, based on a Salt Lake County Health Department rule, that states employees must produce proof of immunization before they can go to work at the school where there has been a declared outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.
Under Utah law, parents can exempt their children from immunizations. The process to get an exemption has changed as of July of this year. To obtain an exemption, parents must go online to Immunize-utah.org, and complete a module regarding immunizations and exemptions. The parent can also go to the health department and pay a $20 fee to go over the information that is included in the module and get an exemption. A copy of the exemption form must be given to the school or child care official to place in the student’s permanent file. Parents should retain a copy.
Kindergarten Entry Requirements
The following vaccines are required for students entering Kindergarten:
- 5 DTP/DTaP/DT — 4 doses if 4th dose was given on/after the 4th birthday
- 4 Polio — 3 doses if 3rd dose was given on/after the 4th birthday
- 2 Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
- 3 Hepatitis B
- 2 Hepatitis A
- 2 Varicella (Chickenpox) -history of disease is acceptable, however, as of July 2018 a letter of verification must be provided by the doctor, a parent signature alone is no longer acceptable.
Seventh Grade Entry Requirements
The following vaccines are required for students entering seventh grade- all of the above plus
- 1 Meningococcal
- 1 Tdap (Tetanus/Diphtheria/acellular Pertussis)