Seattle school children told to get vaccinated if they want to return to classes in 2020

Seattle school children told to get vaccinated if they want to return to classes in 2020
(Getty Images)

School children in Seattle have been told to get vaccinated or not return to class in 2020.

The directive has been issued by school authorities at a time when the United States is grappling with the highest number of measles cases reported since 1992. Various states across the nation have introduced tougher vaccine laws in an attempt to tackle the public health crisis.

Seattle Public Schools, last week, published student vaccination requirements, announcing that student records must reflect their updated immunization status by January 8, 2020. If the students fail to do so, they will not be allowed to attend school and will be declared absent until all the necessary information is provided to the school nurse. 

"Students who are out of compliance with the Washington state immunization law on Wednesday, January 8, will be excluded from attending school. Once immunization compliance is achieved, they may return to school," said the statement from Seattle Public Schools. "Families of students whose records are not up to date or are missing information will be notified via email, postal mail, and a letter home from your child's school," the statement further read.


A nurse holds up a bottle and a prepared syringe of measles, mumps and rubella virus vaccine (Getty Images)

Seattle is offering free immunization clinics for Seattle Public School students on May, December 30, 2019 and January 3, 2020. 

The statement came from the city's school organization after changes were made to Washington state's MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine requirements, which were amended in May so that children cannot be exempted from vaccination on the basis of their family's religious or philosophical beliefs. The bill came into affect in July 28, 2019 and affects public and private schools as well as day-care facilities.

Washington state, in the past year, has witnessed two measles outbreaks, one from January to May and a second in August. The outbreaks have a combined tally of 87 cases, the highest number reported in the region for a year since 1992, according to the Washington State Department of Health. As many as 1,276 cases of measles were confirmed across 31 states between January 1 and December 5, 2019. The number is more than triple the cases reported in 2018, which stood at 375. 


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