Public Health holds second round of immunizations

THE Public Health’s Immunization Program is now conducting a second round of school vaccinations, according to program manager Jeremy Sasamoto.

“We had over 1,000 students still not up to date with required vaccinations after our first round ended in December 2017,” Sasamoto said.

He added that they have never done a second round of on-campus vaccinations in a school year before. But they decided to do so to give parents one more opportunity to have their children vaccinated at school.

“It is a help to parents who have difficulties getting their children to one of our public health clinics.We bring our services to the schools, removing that burden from them. I understand that there are parents who are concerned that their children may be suspended from school, but we do not want to see that happen. That’s why we’re giving our parents this opportunity to have their childrren vaccinated at school in order to be compliant with the law. Our public health laws exist to protect our community from communicable diseases and ensure that our children are protected while in school,” Sasamoto said in a statement.

He said there have been recent disease outbreaks in other islands and territories in the Pacific and Asia. “We must remain vigilant and steadfast in our mission to prevent the introduction and spread of any of these terrible communicable diseases in the CNMI. We are responsible for enforcing our public health laws, and we will continue to do so 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

He reminded parents of the immunization law being enforced in the CNMI – PL 6-10, § 1 (§ 1560): “Every parent of a child shall, at the time of first enrollment of the child in any Commonwealth special education, preschool, elementary, or secondary school, public or nonpublic, irrespective of grade level, provide school authorities with proof that the child has received all of the immunizations required by the Department of Public Health and Environmental Services. If the child has not received all of the required immunizations, the parents shall be notified immediately that they are required to initiate all required immunizations for their child within two weeks after the date of such notice. Every parent of a child already enrolled in a Commonwealth school, public or nonpublic, whose child’s health records show incomplete immunizations, shall be required to initiate remedial action within two weeks following notification of the immunization deficiency. Failure to comply shall be grounds for suspension of the child from school until immunization standards have been met.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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