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District 186 Moves Up Vaccination Deadline

Springfield District 186 plans to give parents and students a shorter deadline for immunizations and physicals next school year. They'll have to be completed by the 10th day of school, which means around the end of August. That's much sooner than this year's mid-October deadline. Around 500 students failed to comply and some were out of school for up to 3 weeks.

Interim superintendent Bob Hill says students missing the deadline has been an issue for "as long as he can remember." Hill says, "I think part of the problem is is that when you have a real wide window to people and you say, 'Well you got 6 to 8 weeks to get this done in,' human nature is people take 6 to 8 weeks to do it."

Hill says in response to the problem a community group convened to address the issue. The group included medical service providers who plan to give immunizations at certain schools where students especially had issues meeting the deadline."Yeah, we've rolled the date forward but we've also really marshaled the resources of the community to try and help families get this done in a timely way," says Hill. He says the board is expected to approve the proposal soon.

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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