By Feb. 21, children must have up-to-date immunizations or exemption documentation to continue attending school

It's time to vaccinate.

Feb. 21 is Exclusion Day, when by state law, all children must have up-to-date immunization or exemption documentation to continue attending school. If they do not, then they will be excluded from school after that date. The law applies to all children enrolled in public, charter, private and alternative schools, as well as those enrolled in children's facilities such as preschool, certified child care centers, early intervention programs and Head Start.

In Molalla and Colton, families receive information about vaccination requirements upon enrollment. But certain boosters are required for different age groups, such as Tdap for seventh graders, and that can sometimes catch families off guard. Those who are not up to date also receive notifications in the fall and winter, according to Jan Olson, the district school nurse for Molalla and Colton.

For those in need of immunizations, there are a number of options:

  • Schedule a well-child or vaccine-only appointment with your existing clinic
  • Clackamas County is offering free immunization clinics for children who are uninsured or covered by Oregon Health Plan at Providence Willamette Falls Community Center on Feb. 7 and 14 from 5-7 p.m.
  • Clackamas County Health Centers provide immunizations for those covered by OHP Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Clinics that have registered Vaccines for Children programs can provide immunizations for a small fee for uninsured and underinsured children. Both of Molalla's medical clinics are registered VFC clinics.
  • Colton's school based health center, located at the high school, can provide immunizations for those in the school district. Call 503-655-8471 for an appointment.
  • For parents who wish to not vaccinate their children, they must claim a nonmedical exemption, which involves participation in vaccination education either online or through a health care provider. In rare circumstances, the Oregon Health Authority may grant a medical exemption. For more information, or to claim a nonmedical or medical exemption, visit OHA's website.

    Kristen Wohlers
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