UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA9) — If you have a child in Prince George’s County Public Schools, then Wednesday is the deadline for their immunizations.
Kindergarten students must have two rounds of the chicken pox vaccine. For seventh graders, they must be up to date on the T-DAP vaccine, which includes tetanus, diptheria and pertussis, as well as the meningitis vaccine.
Currently in Prince George’s County 3,000 of 129,000 students are not immunized. If that number doesn’t change, then 3,000 children won’t be going to school on Wednesday.
To compare, Montgomery County has only nine kids not up to date on vaccinations.
Concerned parents talked to us on Tuesday. Kent Ross says his kids have been vaccinated since day one but he and other parents at Beacon Heights Elementary School are worried. “It’s very important to have that because if you don’t what would the kids do? It’s not their fault. They’re children. We have to make sure everything can happen,” said Ross.
Pecola Carter added, “If they don’t get it they can’t come to school and learn. They could be taking time out of their learning and that’s not fair to them.”
The majority of kids in violation are pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and seventh graders.
Antoin King said, “This is a school so it really makes a lot of parents around here concerned about vaccines, if the kids have not had a vaccine.”
Although some parents say they do understand it can be confusing to parents. “I said ‘look, especially some of them don’t understand the rules. They come from different countries, they don’t speak English.’ I said ‘look it’s important for your kids to get vaccinated because if they don’t you gotta take time out,'” stated Ken Toss.
Officials with Prince George’s County Schools have been calling parents to remind them. They have also held numerous immunization clinics to make it easier on parents.
“Whatever you are supposed to do to keep other children from getting the illness. Just handle your business, basically,” said John El.
Proof of immunization is required by close of business Wednesday. Those with health insurance should contact their doctor about immunizations. Parents can contact the health department’s immunization clinic with questions at 301-583-3386.