SEATTLE — The number of Seattle Public Schools students with up-to-date vaccine records continues to rise after the district passed its deadline to exclude students without proper paperwork.
As of Wednesday evening, 476 students did not have up-to-date paperwork, and the district expects that number to continue to fall, according to Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Tim Robinson.
Seattle Public Schools wasn’t able to say how many students were excluded from class Wednesday, which was the date the district said noncompliant students could be moved to a separate room away from other students.
“The key here is a verified plan in place,” Robinson said.
If students showed up to class with proof they had an appointment to get vaccinated or could show they were in process of getting a vaccine exemption from the state, they were allowed to stay, according to Robinson.
Those students must also provide proof when they get vaccinated or receive the exemption certificate.
For example, Chief Sealth High School in West Seattle had five students without up-to-date records. The school connected with those students, and they are in the process of getting their records updated, so they were not excluded, according to Robinson.
The effort to get student vaccine records in order stems from a new state law that went into effect in July. It removes the personal and philosophical exemption for the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Those students must either get vaccinated or claim a religious or medical exemption for the MMR vaccine to remain in public schools and daycares.
Before the school year started, there were approximately 7,000 students in Seattle Public Schools without up-to-date vaccine paperwork. Families of those students were sent letters informing them to update their information or risk exclusion.
King County officials held several free immunization clinics over the last few weeks and plan to have another one in Federal Way on Jan. 15 to help students get up to date.
“We’re just looking forward to finalizing all of this and making sure that every student who can have an updated record gets one,” Robinson said.