Families And Schools Deal With New Vaccination Requirements

By Jeff Neumeyer

October 8, 2010 Updated Oct 8, 2010 at 6:08 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) ---You’ve heard the phrase, “No shoes, no shirt, no service”.

Indiana school systems are coining a new phrase, “No shots, No school.”

A new series of vaccinations are now required for Indiana junior and senior high school students, and non-compliance can put you at risk of being barred from the classroom.

Traditionally, school shots were directed at the kindergartner or first grader.

6th through 12th graders are targeted for three immunizations that were supposed to be completed by the beginning of this school year.

It has caused headaches for families, school officials and health departments.

The shots we're talking about are a chicken pox booster, more than likely another booster to defend against whooping cough, and a shot to guard against meningitis.

Fort Wayne Community Schools has given parents extra time to comply with the new order, but eventually a couple of warnings go out, deadlines are set, and if the notices continue to be ignored, students can be told they are not welcome in class.

Krista Stockman/FWCS Public Information Officer: " We're sending these letters as we go through the records, so, some people may have a deadline of today, some people may have a deadline of a week ago, some people may have a deadline in two weeks, so it's sort of a rolling process."

The chicken pox and whooping cough shots are new priorities, because health officials have determined the original vaccination wears off over time.

Meningitis can be very serious in young people and can spread in tight quarters like what you find in a school setting, so this is a new approach to control outbreaks of that disease.

Families can call the health department to make an appointment for a free shot, though you probably can't get in for several weeks.

A private physician is another option, offering quicker service, but expect it will cost more.

You can also receive vaccinations via “Super Shot” events, which are held regularly in Fort Wayne.

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