January 2020 is the initial timeline for compliance with the new Immunization Policy. It is important to understand the vaccine schedule for student immunization. Typically, the way it has worked with the state is that schools monitor students at the beginning of each school year. Should a student have a missing or no vaccine(s) the family is notified. The family would make an appointment for the shot thereby giving them 30 days to become compliant and/or based on the medical/health care provider determining when the next shots were due they would have 30 days. The timeframe would move based on the individual standing of the child.
In feedback from the Department of Health, currently if a student has had no vaccines they will be on a catch-up schedule. If they had no vaccines before age 1 years old and they are currently age 4 or older they could catch-up with all of the required immunizations in a little as 7 months. If they had vaccines as an infant it increases the number of doses needed. The Individual Vaccine Requirements Summary (IVRS) for School/Preschool and Child Care Entry is a good resource for vaccine schedules and catch-up schedules. The Department of Health updates this document every year. Students who are in a catch-up status can be in school in conditional status while waiting for the next dose in the series to come due plus 30 days to actually get the vaccine and turn the paperwork into the school. The conditional status then continues until all of the doses have been received.
The Department of Health website is a helpful resource about the school and child care immunization requirements including conditional status FAQs can be found at www.doh.wa.gov/SCCI
Another helpful tool for school to monitor and record student immunizations is through the ISS School Module https://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Schools/Immunization/SchoolModule. This feature is an online registry of Immunization records for people of all ages in Washington State.
As the year progresses I will be tracking any new information as it relates to immunizations and/or exemptions that the State or the Department of Health put into place.