School district compliant with state immunization requirements

  • By By KELLY SULLIVAN
  • Thursday, March 10, 2016 9:26pm
  • News

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District was found to be 100 percent compliant in ensuring students without exemptions are vaccinated.

Superintendent Sean Dusek announced at Monday’s Board of Education meeting that the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services sampled 800 immunization records in the annual school audits completed early this year.

“It ensures that we are all doing the same thing that other schools are doing across the state,” said Carmen Magee, the school district’s health services coordinator. “The audits just confirm that for us.”

Different schools are chosen for the audit from year to year and the sample size also fluctuates depending on student population, Magee said. If it is a larger pool the number of records audited is higher, she said.

The goal is to visit schools on a periodic basis, between every 1-3 years, said Gerri Yett, manager of the department of health’s Section of Epidemiology Immunization Program Immunization.

They are chosen randomly, although some may receive audits more often than others, she said.

“It is a public health measure to reduce the burden the incidence and burden of diseases,” Yett said.

Sites in nearly every one of Alaska’s 54 public school districts are audited each year, Yett said. The Kenai school district is usually completely compliant, citing Magee’s direction as one of the main factors, she said.

The state requires 11 different immunizations on a schedule once students enter kindergarten and until they graduate high school.

Some of those can be take in combination doses. Taking multiple vaccines in one go can save time and money, Magee said. For families that cannot afford the medical costs, there are places funded through the Department of Health that will immunize for free, she said.

In Kenai the Dena’Ina Wellness Center, Kenai Public Health Center and Central Peninsula Family Practice are the three locations funded by the Department of Health’s Section of Epidemiology through the Alaska Immunization Program.

Magee said it is important to get students immunized.

“It helps us in keeping students well and in their seats so they can be educated,” Magee said.

However, the school district always respects that it is the family’s choice, she said.

Magee said roughly 15 percent of students have legally opted out of the required immunizations either for medical or religious purposes.

“It is important that we follow the regulations that are established to help ensure the health of our schools and communities,” Magee said.

 

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Assembly President Brent Johnson asks questions of representatives of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District during a joint work session of the School Board and Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough to enter contract for asbestos flooring abatement in 3 central peninsula schools

The work will be done at Kenai Central High, Kenai Alternative High and Sterling Elementary schools

Alaska State Troopers logo.
1 dead, 3 missing after boat capsizes near Seward

Alaska State Troopers were notified by the U.S. Coast Guard of an overturned vessel around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday

Kenai Central High School stands under clear skies in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, May 23, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough approves contract for KCHS parking lot rehabilitation

Soldotna-based Foster Construction will be awarded the bid of $648,997 to complete the project

Central Peninsula Hospital is seen in Soldotna on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Central Peninsula Hospital to host Cancer Survivor’s Day event

The event will take place Sunday, June 2 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks to the joint Soldotna and Kenai chambers of commerce at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday.
Carpenter gives wrap up on session as he nears end of House term

Carpenter is seeking election to state Senate District D

(from left to right) Jachin Sanchez, Carter Lemons, Rowan Mahoney, Adelyn McCorison and Taylor Rickard graduated from Ninilchik School on Monday, May 13, 2024 in Ninilchik, Alaska. Photo provided by Mattea Peters-Williamson
Ninilchik graduates 5 in 2024 commencement

The school held the ceremony Monday, May 13

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President LaDawn Druce, left, and committee Chair Jason Tauriainen participate in the first meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Four Day School Week Ad Hoc Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
4-day school week committee adjourns

The committee will deliver recommendations to school board in July

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson points out corroded insulation outside of the school building on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 in Soldotna . (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna Elementary awaits action on approved bond

Almost two years after public OKs bond, borough asking for more time

Most Read