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This section provides information for parents, school administrators and staff, and health care professionals, on immunization requirements for school attendance in Oklahoma and links to lesson plans to educate students about vaccine-preventable diseases and vaccines.
School immunization laws are one of the most effective ways to prevent disease outbreaks. Outbreaks of diseases such as diphtheria, polio, and measles were common in schools before vaccines were available. Schools were major sites for transmission of these diseases. School immunization laws work and now these diseases have almost vanished from the United States. We all have our parents and grandparents to thank for supporting these laws. If we keep vaccinating our children we can look forward to a future when these diseases will be eradicated.
Parents - How to Meet the School Requirements
Take one or more of the following to the school:
Schools send a copy of all exemption certificates to the Oklahoma State Department of Health Immunization Service for approval. In the meantime, the child should be admitted to school. All exemptions are reviewed and approved or disapproved by the Immunization Service. Schools are then notified as to whether or not an exemption has been is approved. When a school receives notification that an exemption has not been approved, the school must notify the parent. The parent must complete and submit another exemption certificate or present an immunization record in order for the child to continue to attend school.
The Oklahoma Immunization Law
Oklahoma's Immunization Act (10.2k.pdf) was passed by the state legislature in 1970. It requires all students to meet immunization requirements before they enter or attend any public or private school in the state. The law states that the Oklahoma State Board of Health will establish the regulations specifying which vaccines and how many doses of each vaccine are required.
The immunization requirements are specified by the State Board of Health. The regulations specify in detail:
The Oklahoma State Board of Health changes the regulations when new vaccines become available and as old vaccines are no longer needed because the diseases have been controlled or eliminated.
Why We Need School Immunization Laws
Resources for School Nurses
Oklahoma State Department of Health Resources for Schools
Q: Can schools admit children before a child's exemption is approved by the State Health department?
A: Yes, schools should admit children if an exemption form is on file. If an exemption is not approved by the Oklahoma State Department of Health the school will be notified that the exemption is not valid. At that time the school should notify the parents that they must file another exemption form or present an immunization record for the child. Q: If a child transfers to a new school or childcare facility in Oklahoma and has an exemption on file, do the parents need to fill out a new exemption form?
A: No, as long as the child is transferring between schools or childcare facilities in Oklahoma the child can take the exemption form with them to the new school or childcare facility. Q: How will the Oklahoma State Department of Health know which schools or childcare facilities have children with exemptions enrolled in case of a disease outbreak that might impact enrollees with exemptions?
A: In the event of a disease outbreak that might impact any school or childcare facility in Oklahoma, a representative of the local county health department or the Oklahoma State Department of Health will contact the school or childcare with instructions on informing the parents if the disease is a risk to any students including those with exemptions. Q: What is the schedule for older children who have not completed their IPV series?
A: The schedule for polio vaccination for unvaccinated or under-vaccinated older children through age 17 years is 2 doses of IPV separated by 4???8 weeks, and a third dose 6???12 months after the second dose.
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