Seattle public school students told to get vaccinated or don’t return to school after winter break

Thousands of Seattle public school students are told to get all their vaccinations or DO NOT return after winter break

  • About 2,000 students need updated immunization records, the Seattle Public Schools district says
  • Students have until January 8th to get any vaccines they are missing
  • If they miss school because they don’t have required shots, they will be marked as having an ‘unexcused absence’
  • In 2019, Washington state had two measles outbreaks for a total of 87 cases, the highest since 1990
  • Lawmakers passed a bill in bay barring students from being exempt  from the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) shot for philosophical or personal beliefs

Seattle public school students have been warned that they will not be allowed to return to classes after Christmas break unless they get vaccinated.

About 2,000 students need to update their immunization records, Tim Robinson, a spokesperson for Seattle Public Schools, told Q13 News.

The district sent letters home to parents saying they have until January 8th to get any vaccines they are missing.

‘We are doing everything we can here – at this sprint to the finish line – to get as many students up to date as possible,’ Robinson said. 

‘We don’t want anybody missing out on any educational time.’  

About 2,000 Seattle public school students have until January 8th to get any vaccines they are missing, otherwise they will not be allowed to attend classes (file image)

‘Student records must reflect updated immunization status by January 8, 2020, or students cannot attend school until the required information is provided to the school nurse,’ a notice on the district website says.

Any student who misses school days due to not having the proper vaccines will marked down as having an ‘unexcused absence.’ 

These absences can be changed to ‘excused’ but only after the student receives the proper jabs and returns to school. 

If the child doesn’t have their vaccines, they must have a signed Certificate of Exemption in order to attend school. 

The district is hosting three free clinics over winter break to help students get their required vaccines. 

In May, Washington changed its vaccine requirements, saying children could not be exempt from the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) inoculation for philosophical or personal beliefs.

It came after the state saw two measles outbreaks this year for a total of 87 cases, the highest since 1990. 

The outbreaks even prompted Governor Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency in late January. 

‘All we want is for all people in our schools to be able to come in to school and not worry about getting a disease that is a vaccine preventable disease,’ Seattle schools student health services manager Sami Hoag said in a video.

As of December 5, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says 1,276 people were diagnosed with measles in 2019 across 31 states. 

For most people, measles is miserable but not life-threatening. A small fraction of people get much sicker, and can suffer complications like pneumonia and brain swelling.  

In 2019, 124 people were hospitalized and 61 people suffered complications such as pneumonia. 

This year’s outbreak threatened the US losing its measles ‘elimination’ status, which effectively says the virus has been eradicated, from the World Health Organization.