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With 'exclusion day' coming, Oregon schools host immunization catch-up events

The COVID-19 pandemic made it challenging for families to keep up to date on childhood vaccines, so public health and school staff have teamed up to help.

PORTLAND, Ore — School kids need their shots, and Saturday morning, David Douglas High School in Southeast Portland hosted an immunization clinic to help. 

Lisa Ferguson with the Multnomah County Health Department says the event was put together for families to catch up on childhood vaccines before "exclusion day" on April 20.

"Each year there's a date when, if students are not up to date on the required vaccine or don't have a filed exemption, then they are not allowed to attend school any longer," explained Ferguson.

Multnomah County teamed up with Portland Public Schools to host the clinic. About 108,000 children and students in the County must meet school immunization requirements each year. About 5,100 school exclusion orders were sent to families on March 2.

While the COVID-19 vaccine is not currently required for students in Oregon and Washington in order to attend public school, it was offered at the clinic too.

These immunization clinics are available for youth ages 5-19. West Gresham Elementary School will host a vaccine clinic on Wednesday, April 20, which is exclusion day.

The clinic runs from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at West Gresham Elementary School, 330 Powell Blvd. The school building closed to students in 2020.

These clinics are available to all youth between the ages of 5 and 19. Parents and guardians are asked to bring their exclusion order, identification and insurance card, if they have one. 

There is no out-of-pocket cost if someone is uninsured or if their insurance does not cover immunizations.

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