MECKLENBURG COUNTY -- The vaccination deadline for students enrolled in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools is quickly approaching. Students are required to be up-to-date on their immunizations before entering school, but the district gives a 30-day grace period.
That grace period is ending September 28th and any student not caught up on their shots, may be pulled from class.
“And that’s not a good thing. We don’t want kids to miss school for any reason, particularly early in the year when we don’t want kids getting put behind,” said Dr. Marcus Plescia, with the Mecklenburg County Health Department.
Dr. Plescia says the school environment is the type where infections can be passed very easily if students aren’t protected against them.
Some parents, however, fear that vaccines are linked to autism and in some districts opt out of having their kids vaccinated.
Dr. Plescia says vaccines are safe and that the only way a student in CMS schools can opt out is if they have a legitimate medical reason.
“Usually if they’re allergic to the vaccine that would be a really viable reason.”
To help kids make the deadline, the health department is holding their Big Shot Saturday event this Saturday, September 24th from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Mecklenburg County Health Department, located at 249 Billingsley Road in Charlotte.
Health officials will be administering immunizations and conducting the physical assessment which is now required for any child new to the school district.
Parents are asked to bring their child’s shot records, insurance or Medicaid card and a valid ID. If you do not have health insurance, health officials say the shots will be provided for free.
If parents are unable to make the Big Shot Saturday event, health officials are encouraging parents to call their doctors or make an appointment at the health department.
For more information on which immunizations are required head here: http://www.immunize.nc.gov/schools/k-12.htm
Copyright 2016 WCNC