Seattle decides not to let unvaccinated students back into school

Public school students in Seattle must get vaccinated by next week or they can’t return to class

Public school students in Seattle must get vaccinated by next week or they can’t return to class

The district posted a notice on December 20 informing parents of the decision, citing Washington state law and the state's recently-passed bill that removes the "personal" and "philosophical" options to exempt children from the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.

"I didn't know that he didn't have his vaccination in the records until I got a letter from the school saying that he needed to be vaccinated", she said.

The deadline is quickly approaching for Seattle Public Schools students to get their immunization records up to date.

A measles outbreak has prompted officials of the Seattle Public Schools to take the drastic action of ordering thousands of students to get vaccinated immediately or risk being barred from returning to classes after the winter break.

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Students who do not comply with vaccination requirements will be left out of school and those absences will count as unexcused.

Tim Robinson, a spokesperson for Seattle Public Schools, told CNN affiliate KOMO that "if a student comes to school on the 8th and their records aren't up to date, they'll just be held aside".

The district has scheduled three free clinics at Seattle schools over the holidays to aid students in getting in compliance. "We don't want anyone to miss out on some educational time". The Washington State Department of Health said there have been 87 cases this year, the highest reported number in any state since 1990.

Some students out of compliance are missing the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.

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In 2019, Washington state saw measles outbreaks from January to May and in August.

According to Washington state law, it's "the duty of the chief administrator of every public and private school and day care center to prohibit" the presence of students who either don't have up to date immunization records or can't provide an approved immunization schedule or certificate of exemption. There were more cases of the infectious disease this year than there have been in the four years prior combined.

For most people, measles is miserable but not life-threatening.

This year's measles outbreak was worse from a global standpoint. Almost 1,300 cases were reported through November.

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