LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - It's that back-to-school time of year again, and students in Lawton Public Schools are checking in all this week. But some are being turned away because of vaccine records. One thing the school district asks for at enrollment and check in every year is vaccinations and immunizations records. Some kids can't check in this week because they do not have up-to-date shots and records.
LPS Student Data Administrator Kim Elam is just starting her busy week before school in getting all the students ready. She says turning the kids away at check in this week doesn't mean the kids cannot start school with the rest of their classmates.
Elam says they work with Lawton and new to Lawton parents on getting their records straight before school starts.
"Don't panic, don't stress out about it," said Elam.
That's a phrase Elam uses almost every time a parent tries to enroll their child with incomplete vaccination records.
"So we just kind of take each one as they come, and see what we need to do to help that family," said Elam.
Elam says it is Oklahoma law for every child heading to a state public school to have a certain number of vaccines.
She says the problems Lawton experiences is they have a lot of students coming in through in military families from different states that have different vaccination regulations.
"Oklahoma requires Hepatitis A, two series of vaccination," said Elam. "Several states don't require that. It is a state-by-state required shot. A lot people coming in to Oklahoma have not had the Hepatitis A. So that seems to be another big one that maybe we turn more away than others."
While Elam says it is a problem, it's an easy one to fix by just getting that vaccination.
If a parent asks where they can get these vaccinations, the district will recommend the family's primary health doctor, or the Comanche County Health Department.
"We've been a little bit busier the past week," said Sarah Lambaria, health education with the Comanche County Health Department.
Lambaria says they welcome the families who need to get those booster shots, or get some clarification on their children's shot records before the school year.
"As the health department, we always require in addition to the recommended vaccinations," said Lambaria. "We speak to the importance of vaccinations in general. They keep the population safe. It's important to keep everyone healthy."
For those students going into 7th grade this year, they are required to have a vaccination called T-DAP before going to school.
The Comanche County Health Department is hosting a vaccination drive this Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon at Tomlinson Middle School. All middle school students, not just at Tomlinson, can come and get that T-DAP shot and the recommended dose of the Meningococcal vaccine. Their parents need to bring the child's immunization records, an insurance card and a way to identify your child like a social security number or birth certificate.