Thousands of Jefferson County, Kentucky kids attended public school this year with no proof of vaccinations, according to a report in the Courier-Journal. The Courier Journal’s investigation found that 4,300 students attending Jefferson County Public Schools had no record of vaccines, at least up until March. The shots pointed out in the report are measles, mumps and rubella.
Kentucky law requires students to present vaccine documentation within two weeks of enrollment.
Some schools claim that students simply don’t turn in their vaccine documents despite multiple reminders and warnings.
“We’re putting immuno-compromised children, children too young to get immunized — and pregnant teachers and pregnant moms at risk,” Troi Cunningham, an immunization nurse with the state, said about low immunization rates in some areas.
At least 40% of Jefferson County public schools come in under the immunization rate recommendation.
Records show that in one JCPS school, only 57% of kindergartners were recorded as having had the required measles-mumps-rubella vaccine as of March. Health officials also claim that kids aren’t presenting chickenpox vaccine documents, either.
There’s an “underlying problem of inconsistent immunization access for students and families across the community,” JCPS spokeswoman Jennifer Brislin said.
Schools say some parents just aren’t organized and fail to present the vaccine documents, while other parents simply don’t want to vaccinate their child.