Ask the Child Care Health Team - Immunization Records
Dear Child Care Team,
Some of the children in my care have not been able to get all of their recommended vaccines. I have heard there is something called "conditional status" to attend child care if a child's immunization records are not complete. Is this because there is a vaccine shortage? Can you tell me what this means for me as a child care provider?
- Trying to Complete my Immunization Records
Beginning a couple of years ago some vaccines were in short supply. Some manufacturers had stopped making vaccines, and new requirements from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration meant that manufacturers had to change the way they made vaccines. Manufacturers have now increased production, so supplies of vaccines are improving. However, it takes time to build up supplies in local clinics to meet the schedule of vaccines needed for each child. Some children had doses of vaccine delayed. These children may not have completed the recommended doses of vaccines.
"Conditional status" is a term used in the state law to describe children who do not meet the minimum requirements for child care or school entry as defined in the law. This includes children who do not have proper documentation of their vaccines, or who are in the process of completing a series of immunizations. Once the minimum requirements are met or a certificate of exemption is signed, the "conditional status" changes to "compliant."
The WA State Health Officer has extended the time that children can attend childcare and school in "conditional status." Once the State determines there is enough vaccine supply in our state for all children to get their missed doses, the extension will end and children will have 60 days to complete their needed immunizations. We currently expect this to happen late this fall.
If you have questions about immunizations, please contact the Public Health Nurse for your area at 206-263-8262.
-- Child Care Team