Tale from the Field: Immunization Records and Obtaining Missing Immunizations

As the new school year has begun, we have received many calls regarding McKinney-Vento eligible students who register in an LEA without the appropriate immunization records. McKinney-Vento liaisons wonder how to follow the appropriate public health practices, but at the same time, ensure that a new student’s McKinney-Vento enrollment rights are exercised. We hope that these actual scenarios and the responses to them will help McKinney-Vento liaisons when faced with similar situations in their districts. As always, a wealth of resources are available on our website, including many recordings and documents from our previous webinars and web series.


The Tale

A temporarily housed child came into a school district office in the Finger Lakes region to register without immunization records from the previous district. The McKinney-Vento liaison wanted to know how much time the LEA had to get these records. She also wondered how much assistance she should give to the family to enable the children to be immunized.


Questions

  1. Should an LEA enroll a child who is eligible for McKinney-Vento designation but does not have immunization records?

  2. How long does an LEA have to obtain a student’s immunization records from the LEA where they were previously housed?

  3. How much assistance should the McKinney-Vento liaison offer to help the family obtain missing immunizations?

Resources

Before you attempt to answer this question, review these resources:

  1. Immunization Section of the NYS TEACHS Resource Library : https://www.nysteachs.org/immunizations

  2. State Public Health Law: https://www.nysteachs.org/_files/ugd/10c789_c4817764d85141a2839260fd65fc604f.pdf

  3. Allowable and Non-Allowable use of Title I Funds: https://www.nysteachs.org/_files/ugd/10c789_087f9d44bbfc4a46a96de97ba1335af0.pdf

  4. Referral Templates: https://www.nysteachs.org/referral-templates-for-liaisons

  5. State Public Health Law: https://www.nysteachs.org/_files/ugd/10c789_c4817764d85141a2839260fd65fc604f.pdf

  6. The New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS): https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/immunization/information_system/

Answers


Question 1: Should an LEA enroll a child who is eligible for McKinney-Vento designation but doesn’t have immunization records?

Students are entitled to immediate enrollment in school, even if they don't have their immunization records or any other documentation needed for enrollment. It is the responsibility of the enrolling district to get the records, including immunization records, from the district where the student was last enrolled.


NY State Public Health Law explains that students have 14 days (which may be extended to 30 days if need be) during which they may attend school while the school is waiting for proof of immunization. Students in temporary housing have additional protections with regard to submitting proof of immunization.


If the liaison or school nurse or is working with a family to get the immunizations (including setting up appointments, arranging transportation, and/or paying any fees), this period may be extended beyond 14 days, up to 30 days.

Question 2: How long does an LEA have to obtain a student’s immunization records from the LEA where they were previously housed?

Question 3: How much assistance should the McKinney-Vento liaison offer to help the family obtain missing immunizations?


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