Immunizations Still Required for Virtual Learning

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is seeing a decrease in students getting immunizations across the country.

"I think people feel like if you're not going to the brick and mortar school, then you don't need to have the immunizations, but that's incorrect," said Shauna Severo of the Fairfax County Health Department.

In Virginia, students must be vaccinated just to register for school, but the Fairfax County Health Department says many students haven't gotten their shots.

Coronavirus Cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia

COVID-19 cases by population in D.C. and by county in Maryland and Virginia

Source: DC, MD and VA Health Departments
Credit: Anisa Holmes / NBC Washington

"We were seeing a significant decrease in the number of individuals who were coming for their immunizations, which was alarming to us," Severo said.

Loudoun County's health director said families admit they haven't gotten their shots because they're worried about exposure to COVID in a hospital or clinic.

"What we don't want is for kids to be kept from the ability to get an education because of the pandemic," Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend said.

Fairfax County is hosting clinics with socially distant booths that are cleaned regularly. Students go by appointment only to get their vaccines. (A clinic scheduled for July 30 has been canceled.)

“I would just urge parents — I know they're concerned about coming out and exposure to COVID — but it's really important for them to understand that if they do not get these vaccines, they're putting their children and other people in the community at risk for vaccine preventable diseases," Severo said.

Immunizations also are required in D.C. and Maryland.

The Virginia Department of Health includes probable cases in its county-level data. For the state total NBC Washington is only including confirmed cases.

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