School, Health Officials Focus on Immunizations
Dorothy Rowley | , WI Staff Writer | 8/23/2012, 4:35 p.m.
Easterling said that during her tenure, school staff tended to check immunizations "very, very carefully," and that the system would give parents just so many days to get the records in, or their children were not allowed to attend classes.
"The school nurses were very particular about that and so were the counselors," Easterling said. "I think we should continue to be very strict and very concerned, because now that we have so many people among us from other countries, we never know what kind of diseases our children are being subjected to."
Meanwhile, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that immunizations have had an enormous impact on improving the health of children across the country, and that if children contract diseases that could be prevented with vaccinations, the diseases can not only be serious enough to require hospitalization - they could also be deadly - particularly in infants and young children.
DCPS was contacted for comment, but did not respond by Washington Informer press time. However, Nathan Saunders, 46, president of the Washington Teachers' Union, said school officials normally allow parents a certain amount of time after the school year begins to have their children immunized. He also mentioned that school nurses are on hand to give shots.
"That's a good thing because a lot of students don't have medical insurance," said Saunders. "In fact, a majority of the public schools offer vaccinations. All students need to do is to get a permission slip signed by their parents to give the school nurse."
Saunders added that teachers have expressed little concern being among students who haven't been immunized.
"That hasn't been a major issue - it may have popped up one or two times, but it hasn't been a systematic situation," he said.