'Don't hesitate, vaccinate!': Health officials educate parents on new requirements before school starts

August 07, 2019 08:07 AM

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (WHEC) — "Don’t hesitate, vaccinate!" is a campaign underway in Ontario County to educate families on school vaccinations.

As August is National Immunization Awareness Month, public health officials are using it as a chance to inform parents on how to prepare their students for a healthy school year.


The Ontario County Public Health Department points out only 68.6 percent of children in the county 19 to 35 months old are considered fully vaccinated. It states, “vaccines help to prevent serious diseases like the flu, measles, pneumonia and even certain types of cancers.”

New this year, families can no longer use a religious reason for not getting their child vaccinated if they want to attend a private, public, or parochial school. The same applies for daycares including ones in homes.

“For the religious exemption, it’s no longer applicable so parents need to be aware that 14 days after the start of school, if a child is not immunized or have proof of immunization or show they cannot receive the vaccine, they cannot attend school,” explained Public Health Director Mary Beer.

The law changed in New York state midsummer amid a measles outbreak.

Information can be found on the health department's website

It explains parents have 14 days from the first day of school to show their child has received the first dose of each immunization, and 30 days to show the follow up doses have been scheduled.


Stephanie Robusto

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