Parents rushing to get their child vaccinated before the start of the school year now have some relief.
Gov. Roy Cooper has extended a state deadline for student immunizations and health assessments. The preparation for the school year is a big challenge under COVID-19, but a recent executive order gives parents more time.
The order extends, but doesn't waive, proof-of-immunization and health assessment documentation deadlines.
The extension goes for students in all K-12 schools (public and private), childcare facilities, colleges and universities, students in remote learning and homeschooled students.
The 30-day grace period begins on Oct. 1. After Nov. 1, children can be excluded from school if they aren't up to date on immunizations. In past years, the 30-day grace period began on the first day of school.
The order also extends the deadline for each child entering a state public school for the first time to submit a school health assessment.
For parents looking for help, the Vaccines for Children program offers free vaccines to families who cannot afford to pay for their children's vaccines.
"With kids headed back to school and flu season right around the corner, it's more important than ever this year for all North Carolinians to get their recommended immunizations," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. "Childhood immunizations keep kids safe and protect public health by lowering the likelihood of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease like measles."
August is State Immunization Awareness Month.