Schools: Update vaccine records

PARKERSBURG – As days of summer move closer to the start of school, officials in the Wood County School system are reminding parents to submit their children’s vaccination records. This is the second year seventh and 12th grade students are required to have Tdap and meningitis vaccines. Last year, school system officials said only about 16 percent of the then-sixth and 11-grade students had proof of the required vaccines.

“I anticipate many have the vaccines. We just don’t have the records,” said Teresa Morehead, coordinator of health services for Wood County Schools. Morehead said parents need to ask the vaccine providers to provide those records.

Last year, under new guidelines nearly 1,000 middle school students and 900 high school students in Wood County Schools were required to get the immunizations. At the start of the 2012-2013 school year about 900 students did not have updated school records showing they’d had the vaccinations. On Sept. 10, about 70 students were informed they could not attend school until they had received the vaccinations, and by Sept. 18 all of the students met the state requirements.

Morehead said school officials have been vigilant in reminding parents to remain up-to-date with vaccination records. She said records for students are continuing to come in.

The health department had a clinic in July and will hold a special clinic Aug. 12 for those without private insurance, Morehead said.

“Those with private insurance are encouraged to go to their physician,” she said.

Students have until Sept. 5 to provide officials with proof of vaccinations.

“They are required to get their records in by the first day of school (Aug. 22), but they have a two-week extension,” Morehead said. “By Sept. 6, students with a copy of their records will be excluded from school.”

“We are trying to do everything we can to make sure they have the information they need so we have the information we need for a smooth start to school.”