Ohio school-age vaccination rates behind national average

Even though parents are mandated to have their child immunized for school they can get an exemption

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – Vaccinations are a requirement for school age children and keeping up with the schedule of immunizations can be difficult for parents and some are falling behind.

According to data collected by the Dayton Daily News, only 62 percent of schools in Ohio met the standards for incoming kindergarten students to be vaccinated

SEARCH YOUR DISTRICT: (Courtesy: The Dayton Daily News)

Each year, the school nurse has to have vaccination documentation submitted to the Ohio State Board of Health by October – a hard deadline that is difficult to meet sometimes.

Regina Reynolds is the school nurse at Canfield Schools. She says those records contain vital information for the health of the school district, but it’s hard to get parents to turn them in on time. The information becomes critical if there is an outbreak.

“You need to know that your population is immunized against it and that they are up to date. If they are not, if the parent decided that they do not want that, you need to have those kids stay out of school so they are protected during that period that is contagious,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said even though parents are mandated to have their child immunized for school they can get an exemption for reasons such as a health condition or other medical factors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Ohio has a kindergarten immunization compliance rate of 92 percent, compared to many other states that are averaging between 93 and 95 percent. Lowest scores include states such Colorado at 87 percent and the District of Columbia at 88 percent.