Back to School: Students and required vaccinations

Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 6:55 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Classrooms will not be empty for long as summer break comes to an end.

But, before the kids come back to school, Misty Trowbridge with the Eau Claire Area School District said they are required to be up to date on their vaccinations.

“Last year the vaccination numbers were good. We were at about 96%, the requirement is at about 99%. So, I feel like we’re doing well, we’re on target,” said Trowbridge.

She said it is an improvement from previous years, the 2021 - 2022 school year vaccination rate was at 92%.

Dr. Naghma Husain is a Prevea Health pediatrician who said the pandemic may have disrupted routine doctor visits.

“During the pandemic, people got out of the habit of going to the doctor for regular checkups. So, a lot of kids feel behind on their vaccinations,” said Husain.

She also suggests to do more than just get your child vaccinated.

“I would recommend a check-up, because not only do we do vaccinations but we also check other concerns they might have,” said Dr. Husain.

Trowbridge said vaccination requirements can be easily tracked if families are lost.

“The first thing that would be important for families to know is they can go to the Wisconsin Immunizations registry to see if their immunizations are up to date, or if they’re behind or lagging,” said Trowbridge.

And exemptions can be made.

“We do have waivers based on religious belief, personal convictions, or medical reasons that a student would not be immunized,” said Trowbridge.

Doctor Husain still recommends to get the require vaccinations done however.

“You also have to remember that vaccines don’t just protect your child and your family, they also protect other people in the community that are vulnerable,” said Dr. Husain.

Either way, Trowbridge said it is vital to get it on record.

“What is critical for schools is that we have the immunizations or waivers on file so that the students are compliant,” said Trowbridge.

She said the Eau Claire Area School District will be offering vaccine clinics at middle schools for adolescents in the coming months.

For more information on vaccinations, click here.

List of resources, click here.