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Don't miss your child's school vaccine deadline

Don't miss your child's school vaccine deadline

With kids heading back to school, pediatricians are reminding parents of the importance of immunizations.

"While there are those controversies, seeing a kid with measles is really sad and it's really disheartening to know that they have this, but it could have been prevented,” Christie Clinic pediatrician Dr. Alexis Omara said.

Although the state mandates kids be vaccinated by October 15, Champaign Unit 4 requires the vaccinations by September first. Urbana School District 116 requires kindergarten, sixth graders and ninth graders to have physicals done by the first day of school, which include immunizations.

Last year, around 400 students in Unit 4 were sent home because they were not in compliance by the September first deadline.

"There's no real grace period, everything is due in by September first,” Champaign Unit 4’s head nurse Margee Poole said. “We don't accept appointment cards. They have to have everything turned in by September first to remain in school on that next school day."

Poole says the earlier kids are protected, the better, especially for other students who may not be able to get vaccinated for medical reasons.

While there are religious exemptions, the state has modified the requirements this year.

"A parent would have to take that religious exemption form to their physician, be counseled on vaccines, and then the physician and the parent sign the document together. The parent then writes a letter containing the information about their religious objection and that is submitted to the school district for consideration."

On top of state required vaccines, doctors say there are other vaccines they recommend you look into for your child, including the HPV vaccine and Hepatitis A.

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