The Public School System is in the process of sending out suspension notices to over 200 students who are not compliant with immunization requirements.
During the Board of Education meeting yesterday, acting Education commissioner Glenn Muña brought to the board’s attention that many students are non-compliant with PSS’ immunization rules.
In a later interview with Muña, he said it is the PSS’ right to suspend students who are non-compliant with any rules and regulation and being complete with immunization shots is one of them.
Muña said he has already started giving out notices to parents to inform them that a student will be suspended if a child does not comply with immunization requirements and is not up-to-date with their vaccination shots in the next two weeks.
According to Muña, a complete list of immunization shots is a required document to enroll in PSS. It is required that this list is kept up-to-date and that students complete all the vaccines required of their age.
However, students who have already enrolled once no longer need to show proof of immunization as they no longer need to undergo the entire application process. Muña said this could be the case for many students who have been found non-compliant with PSS’ immunization policy.
It is also a factor that, as a student ages within PSS, they and their parents lose track of their required shots, and are therefore considered non-compliant.
A Division Public Health investigation first discovered that about 1,400 students are non-compliant with immunization. Since DPH started visiting campuses to do rounds of immunizations, the number has dropped to about 295 and Muña reported yesterday that and he is quite happy about the significant drop.
Of the remaining chunk of students who are still non-compliant, about 120 are from Marianas High School.
Muña said 120 is a small number considering that MHS is the most populated school on Saipan, with about 1,600 students.
According to Muña, he is also working on getting DPH to do one more round of vaccinations on campuses that need them for the convenience of both the students and parents.