A deadline of Sept. 8 has come and gone and, as of Tuesday morning, 68 Wawasee High School seniors still had not received a booster of meningitis vaccine as required by state law.
Myra Alexander, RN, school nurse for WHS, said Indiana Code 20-34-4-5 mandates a new requirement for the 2014-15 school year for high school seniors to have a booster shot of the vaccine. Ideally students are not permitted to attend school beyond the first day of classes without documentation of the shot, but the law does allow provisions for a waiver not to exceed 20 school days. Wawasee usually allows the 20 days, Alexander noted, which expired Sept. 8.
In late November 2013, it was announced the booster of meningitis vaccine would become a requirement. “We have known it was coming,” Alexander said. “I sent notices out starting in January.”
More than half of the Wawasee senior class has received the booster shot, but 68 is a considerable number of students without the shot. The Indiana Code does address medical and religious objections, Alexander noted.
Alexander stressed the importance of the vaccination, noting Dr. Tom Edington, Wawasee Community School Corp. superintendent, wanted parents and students to be reminded of the vaccine requirement and deadline before any decisions are made to preclude students from attending school.
Those without medical insurance or whose insurance does not cover immunizations can get the booster shot from the Kosciusko County Health Department. Otherwise, the shot can be obtained through a doctor’s office or pharmacy.
For more information, call Alexander at (574) 457-3147 or the health department at (574) 372-2349. Documentation of the shot being administered is required to be presented to the school nurse.