Students in Vigo County School Corporation who have not met new vaccination requirements by March 21 will kept out of school. A new state law enacted before this school year mandates that students must be vaccinated for chicken pox, meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis to attend school.
Vigo County Health Department Administrator Joni Foulkes says having un-vaccinated children in schools does not pose an immediate threat, but that doesn’t discount their importance.
“We still see vaccine preventable diseases raise their ugly head periodically,” Foulkes says, “so if we can make opportunities available for parents to have their children vaccinated, the more healthy our community and state will be.”
Vigo County Schools Director of Student Services Ray Azar says getting shots has been a problem for parents in Vigo County because of the high cost of the vaccinations, as well as a lack of funding and availability.
To counter this, the corporation has organized volunteer immunization clinics at the schools – but still hasn’t immunized every child.
“We’ve gone to every school in the middle and high school level,” he says, “and at present we have about 400 students in the schools that we have visited that are still not meeting state requirements.”
Azar says if students have to be kept home, school officials will make home visits to get children vaccinated so they can return to school.