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Deadline passes for unvaccinated students to get shots or leave school

Ryan Delaney
WRVO News File Photo

Most schools in New York should be done making sure students comply with new state laws regarding vaccinations. Children in school now, who had religious exemptions, needed their first dose of vaccinations within the first 14 days of the new school year, and also need to provide proof of follow up vaccines if necessary.

In the Syracuse City School District, Director of Health Nancy Bailey said there were only a couple of cases where students won’t be coming back to school this year because the religious exemption is no more.

"I can only think of two instances where the families have decided to home school, or they may be moving out of New York state," she said.

Otherwise, Bailey said the rest of the 60 families with children who weren’t fully immunized, have started the series of shots they need to stay in school. The district contacted each family that reported a religious exemption, offering information about the new rule.

"In some cases I think it was, they probably spoke with medical providers and had some education from

Overall, Bailey said it wasn’t too much extra work for her staff.

"We have a lot of pressure to comply with vaccines anyway. So it’s not a lot of different, other than to answer questions for those families that have questions about religious exemptions."

She said it actually streamlines the job because unless a child has a medical exemption, the rules are the same now for everyone. The state legislature eliminated religious exemptions this spring, after a measles outbreak in several communities downstate.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.