PG County to Enforce “No Shots, No School” Policy – Help Needed to Avoid School Exclusions
Dear Pediatricians and Family Medicine Providers:
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has vaccine requirements for children entering school from Pre-K through grade 12. In an effort to be proactive, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) began alerting all currently enrolled Pre-K students and sixth grade students regarding their immunization requirements for the 2016-2017 school year in February 2016.
Of over the 129,000 students who attend Prince George’s County Public Schools, there are 7000 that do not have the proper vaccinations required to enter school on August 23, 2016, so we need your assistance in getting the job done. We know that your practice is actively engaged with working with your patients, ensuring that families understand the need for the age-appropriate immunizations and that the children are up to date.
It will take everyone’s efforts to ensure that our students are ready for a full academic year. Please know that Prince George’s County and all public schools in the State of Maryland must follow DHMH regulations. The Prince George’s County Public School System will be strictly enforcing the “No Shots, No School” policy. Students that are not up to date on their vaccinations and do not have a documented medical or religious exemption will be excluded on the first day of school, August 23, 2016, and until they are vaccinated.
The Prince George’s County School System and the Prince George’s County Health Department have collaborated to offer several immunizations events/clinics that began in March 2016, and we will continue to offer these through September 2016. In order to assist in this effort, we are requesting that you consider:
- Offering immunization-only visits (while emphasizing the importance of a well-child visit/preventive health visit) to avoid school exclusion;
- Extending office hours (to include evening hours) and/or providing Saturday sessions; and
- Conducting outreach to your patients in the age range for the required kindergarten and 7th grade immunizations.
View the Immunization Requirements for School Entry.
Thank you for your efforts and your dedication to our children.
Pamela B. Creekmur
Health Officer, Prince George’s County
Kevin M. Maxwell, Ph.D.
CEO, Prince George’s County Public Schools