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Seattle Students Need Updated Vaccination Records to Return to School

Seattle public schools says they will not allow students to attend classes after winter break if their vaccination and immunization records aren't up to date.

Seattle Public Schools says they will not allow students to attend classes after winter break unless they have up-to-date vaccination and immunization records.

Students who attend school in the Seattle Public School District, which has around 53,000 students, are required to have records of vaccination for polio, hepatitis B, and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Those who do not show proof of vaccination and/or immunization by January 8 will be separated from other students until they can show proof of immunization. 

The schools warned parents of the policy in December and also plan on issuing a warning call two days before the deadline. 

Seattle schools did not have vaccine records for about 14% of their students last year, and were missing records for 2,247 students in November 2019. Washington state law requires families to have their children vaccinated one month before school starts, but many people have ignored the law. It also banned exemptions from vaccinations that were not medically necessary.

To help with costs, the Seattle Public School District partnered with local clinics to provide free immunization for the children who have not been vaccinated. Parents do not need to provide proof of insurance or citizenship to receive the vaccines. 

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Seattle Public Schools will not allow students to attend classes if they’re not vaccinated. However, the district is requiring students to provided updated vaccination and immunization records.