YAKIMA, WA - Health care professionals advise parents to make sure your child is up to date with all of their required vaccinations. They will help protect your them and the surrounding kids from diseases. Each school grade requires different vaccinations for students.
"Vaccines are critical to the overall health of our communities," Lori Kelly, the senior director of quality with Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC).
Earlier this year, Washington State changed part of its vaccine law. Before parents had the right to personal and philosophical exemption for the MMR vaccine. A vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella.
Now schools will be requiring for students to get the vaccine.
"A parent may only exempt for religious or medical reasons. What that means for patients of Yakima Valley Farm Workers that we will only sign an exemption for a medical reason," said Kelly.
The Yakima school district has a few students that still need that vaccine. Those parents and students have already been contacted by the district.
"They have a grace period to come into compliance and that is something that they can discuss with their school nurse but we have to have some proof that the parents is cognizant that their kid needs to be vaccinated," Lanea Cate, the health services program coordinator for the Yakima school district.
She says vaccinating students has many health benefits for the students and their peers.
"When we have a high immunization rate like we do in the Yakima School District we're able to protect kids who are immune compromised we're able to protect people in the community. Outbreaks of communicable disease are fewer and far between," said Cate.
On the first day of school the district will be working with YVFWC to give out needed vaccinations to students