Multnomah County helps hundreds of children catch up on missing vaccines so they can stay in school

February 21, 2013

Hundreds of children who would have been excluded from school Feb. 20 because they lacked vaccines instead went to class because they could catch up on their immunizations at Multnomah County’s special clinics.

Families crowded into the sites at the Oregon State Building and at Multnomah County’s East County Health Clinic on Feb. 19 and 20. The families of more than 6,050 children received letters earlier this month that their children would be excluded from schools, Head Start, kindergarten, private schools and certified child care unless they caught up with their immunizations..

“I thought I was probably the only one in the city and that I had dropped the ball,” said Jennifer Hudson, the mother of 5-year-old Rowan. “Then I came in and saw all these other parents.”

The last-minute rush drew media coverage of the clinics and interviews with the Deputy Tri-County Health Officers Drs. Jenn Vines and Paul Lewis. Dr. Vines discussed childhood vaccines on KATU Channel 2 and KOIN 6 and Dr. Lewis explained how the vaccines keep kids safe from unexpected exposures on KGW’s Channel 8.

Dr. Vines said parents with concerns about vaccines can find important information at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Oregon and the Multnomah County website. And parents also should talk to their regular doctor.

“We want to make sure parents are basing their decisions on good science-based information,’’ Dr. Vines said.

To learn more about immunizations: