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Contributed by Bladen County Schools

An Executive Order issued by Governor Roy Cooper and a State Health Director Memo issued by State Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Tilson previously delayed documentation deadlines for proof-of-immunization and health assessment requirements for school and child-care facilities until October 30, 2020.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has received feedback from various partners, including schools, providers, and families, that students continue to face barriers related to the COVID-19 pandemic to meeting these requirements in a timely manner.  DHHS also surveyed school districts to get a better idea of how many students would be impacted, with so many more students not yet compliant compared to other years, knowing that school districts, providers, local health departments, and others have been working so hard to get students the needed care.

While Bladen County school nurses continue to urge families to get up-to-date on vaccinations and preventive care as soon as possible, DHHS is looking at an additional extension to allow more time and prevent many students from being excluded from in-person and remote learning.  The proposed changes are as follows:

The requirements to submit a certification of immunization and a school health assessment would be reinstated on December 1, 2020.
The 30-day grace period would then end on December 30, 2020, or 30 calendar days from the child’s first date of attendance, whichever is later, after which point a student would have to be excluded from school (in-person or remote) until compliant with requirements.
Schools would then have until February 1, 2021 to file annual immunization reports.
Immunizations required for the 2020-2021 school year entry into Kindergarten, 7th grade, and 12th grade, can be found at the following link: K-12.

Effective August 1, 2020, a booster dose of Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MenACWY) to protect against meningococcal disease is required for all students entering the 12th grade or by 17 years of age, whichever comes first.

Click here to view the immunization schedule for Prek-12 students