State News

Schools begin suspending students over outdated shots

Posted September 26, 2008

— Hundreds of sixth-graders across North Carolina have been prohibited from attending school until their vaccinations are updated.

A state law that went into effect in January requires that sixth-graders provide immunization records showing they have had the tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis, or Tdap, booster within 30 days of the start of school.

If not, they face suspension. The suspension, however, is not a disciplinary measure.

Most districts had deadlines throughout this week and began suspending students Wednesday.

Wake and Cumberland county school districts had about 100 students each still without the vaccine after the deadline had passed.

Wake schools, however, are allowing students with proof of scheduled immunizations to attend school, as long as their appointment is on or before Oct. 24, schools spokesman Greg Thomas said.

In Johnston County, schools spokeswoman Terry Sessoms said that no students had been suspended, but that didn't mean every student had the vaccine. She could not provide an exact number who were non-compliant.

Eighty students in Chatham County schools have yet to get the shot, Beth McCallah, schools spokeswoman, said. They have until Oct. 6 to get the vaccine or they will not be allowed to attend classes.

The deadline for Durham County students is Monday. Schools spokesman Michael Yarborough said nurses would be on site at middle schools Monday to vaccinate students who have a parent's permission.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the booster after North Carolina saw an increase in whooping cough.

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  • tarheelalum Sep 29, 2008

    Great law...did you guys know that if you provide documentation from a religious official indicating it is against your religion to receive a vaccination...then the requirement is waived! That is the procedure at UNC and most universities so I assume it is similar. I completely support freedom of religion, but this poses a public health threat to our entire society.

  • jetset Sep 26, 2008

    Why are people so upset about having their children vaccinated?

  • Italiangirl Sep 26, 2008

    Pikemom2bsure, who are you to call me an irresponsible parent? Have you been to home to see how I raise my children? Have you seen my name in the paper for abuse? It's my choice not to continue any further immunization for my children for whatever reason I find fit. Is JBlakley07 "scurred" as you put it too?

  • jblakley07 Sep 26, 2008

    I am a parent of a 3 year old autistic child. He has had all his vaccinations until now, but after doing research he will no longer ever have a shot. Most of the things that they are vaccinated for, have not been seen in years. Before you should criticize a parent for their decision, you should do some research in the link between vaccinations and autism. My child may never be able to live a normal life, and until about a year and a half ago there was nothing wrong with him. All his doctor visits and physicals show that. I encourage parents to read up on those shots and do not believe everything that the health office tells you. They are educated to tell you exactly what the government wants you to hear in order to make their money off the vaccines. I have three kids and my youngest will not have a shot. Only one of my children are autistic and it's "supposedly" something that is genetic. Explain that one to me?

  • lyteoflife Sep 26, 2008

    Luckily I was able to get my daughter her shot in time (Wake CO) only because her pediatrician had a cancellation and I was called. Depending upon what insurance plan you have, you can't just go in for this injection ...you have to ave a physical. I know this because it is what I do for a living. It would have helped had the school system told parents prior to August that this was an issue. What about the children who are in 7th and 8th grades?? I have gone ahead and scheduled my 8th grader to get hers this fall....I am sure the county will make rising 9th graders have this injection to close the gap of kids who were missed. Evidentally college student have to have this already.
    Anyway...as usual, thank you school systems for giving last minute notice to parents. Again, as a Wake County parent, I got NOTHING in the mail about this until 2 1/2 weeks prior to school starting this fall!

  • Italiangirl Sep 26, 2008

    Thanks for the clarification Nic

  • GroupOfPricklyPears Sep 26, 2008

    Here are two links on the subject. May be helpful to some.

    http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/pressrel/2008/2008-3-03-immunization-requirements.htm

    http://www.immunizenc.com/parentsschoolreqs.htm

  • Italiangirl Sep 26, 2008

    Pikemom2bsure-----she does go out in public and I have 3 kids the oldest being 16, I'm not overly concerned about my children as they have NEVER had any major medical problems just the norm, colds, etc. You sound like a VERY angry person, I surely wouldn't want to be one of your children! Hope you have a great day and be kind to your children!!!

  • nic Sep 26, 2008

    Italiangirl-Just to correct something in your statement- the Tdap vaccine is not a live virus nor is the flu vaccine (FYI). Regarding the mercury issue. Most vaccines no longer have mercury in them.

  • sunshine1224 Sep 26, 2008

    I UNDERSTAND THE SCHOOL TO A POINT BUT KICKING THEM OUT OF SCHOOL FOR THIS IS CRAZY..ITS NOT ABOUT THE SCHOOL DOING THE PARENTS JOB...I DONT THINK THESE SHOTS ARE FREE AND OF COURSE SUM PARENTS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO GET THEM..THERES ALOT MORE CRIME GOING ON AT SCHOOL TO BE WORRIED ABOUT THAN THIS. ITS HARD ENOUGH KEEPING KIDS IN SCHOOL BUT INSTEAD THEY ARE SUSPENDING THEM FOR THIS?

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