BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Thousands of Baltimore City students will soon be barred from the classroom, because they haven’t received required vaccines that protect against things like measles, chickenpox, hepatitis, and meningitis.
The bell has rung for parents procrastinating that back-to-school doctor’s visit for vaccines.
“You have to remind yourself like, ‘okay, this is important. We need to make the time.’ it’s really just making the time,” said one mom.
By Maryland law, kids must be up to date on shots by the 20th day of school or they’ll stay home. In Anne Arundel county, 84 students still aren’t vaccinated and are barred from school. In Baltimore County, 345 kids have been out since Tuesday and in Baltimore City, about 3800 students don’t meet requirements.
Baltimore City schools are stressing to parents and students to get vaccinated, or no school starting next week.
“If a child is in school who is not immunized, that child can then get diseases that are then spread to other children,” said Dr. Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner, but parents don’t need to wait until school starts to get kids into the doctor’s office.
“Every time we go in; we get to reschedule an appointment. They’re right on the ball with making sure we keep up to date with all of the vaccines,” said another mom.
The health department says this is a marathon not a sprint.
“This is the time to get immunizations if your child has not already received them, but this is also something that you should be following with your child and the pediatrician over the course of the year,” said Dr. Wen.
With thousands of students at risk of losing learning time, there are lots of parents that need to play catch-up, fast.
Baltimore City school students have until next week to provide proof of vaccination.
The Baltimore City Health Department will have another vaccination clinic Saturday at the Druid Health Clinic on North Avenue.