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Exclusion day in Oregon has some scrambling for vaccinations

It's exclusion day in Oregon, which means students and parents filled pediatrician waiting rooms across the state to get up-to date on vaccinations.

February 15 was the deadline for students to have the required immunizations for school and daycare programs, or to have an exemption on file. Children who did not meet the requirements were sent home.

Tim Long was one of the parents who headed to the doctor on Wednesday to make sure his two sons, Galileo and Niccolo, had the required shots.

“We are here today because we fell a little behind on vaccinations. We are in between pediatricians,” Father Tim Long said.

Galileo wasn’t allowed at his preschool until he got four shots.

Doctors say exclusion days are extremely important, and helps protect more than just other children at school.

“Any parent can tell you kids like to spread diseases around and then at home to grandparents or babies who haven't been vaccinated so it’s not just about keeping in school but keeping us well too,” Dr. Jennifer Vine said. “The concern is when our kids are not all up to date that these diseases can spread."

State law allows parents to exempt their students from certain vaccinations for both religious and personal beliefs.

In 2015, nearly 90% of all Oregon kindergartners were vaccinated. The Oregon Health Authority works to raise that number each year.

“Even though we live more in central Portland it’s great to be able to come out here and get this done quickly,” Long said.

If your child is still in need of shots, you will need to contact your medical provider to schedule an appointment. Multnomah County Health also has vaccines available.

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