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FOR RELEASE: September 1 , 2005

CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
Wendy Pratt
Oklahoma State
Department of Education


State Immunization Requirements Relaxed for Students Displaced by Hurricane Katrina

The Oklahoma State Departments of Health and Education announced today that standard immunization requirements for attending school or child-care facilities in Oklahoma are being temporarily waived for children displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Students who will be staying with family members or friends in Oklahoma, or whose families have sought temporary housing in the state, will be given a 120-day provisional enrollment.

Normally, students moving to Oklahoma from other states are required to show proof of required immunizations before they are allowed to attend school; however, a special form authorizing the 120-day provisional enrollment will be available from schools and child-care facilities. A copy of the waiver form is also available on the Oklahoma State Department of Health Web site at http://www.health.ok.gov/program/imm/.

Those states impacted by Hurricane Katrina have the same school and day care immunization requirements as Oklahoma, with the exception that Oklahoma also requires hepatitis A vaccination. Since there is a potential for increased risk of hepatitis A for students returning to flood-affected areas, the Oklahoma State Department of Health will make this vaccine available though county health departments at no cost. In addition, tetanus and diphtheria vaccines will be available for affected families.

State officials said they may extend the provisional enrollment period beyond 120 days depending on hurricane recovery progress in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.


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