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Central Kentucky school health official discusses vaccines for students

Kentucky public school children are required to be vaccinated against several diseases -- with exceptions.
Kentucky public school children are required to be vaccinated against several diseases -- with exceptions.

An unvaccinated Jessamine County resident who tested positive for measles after attending last month’s revival at Asbury University has some wondering which vaccinations are required for Kentucky public school students. Debbie Boian is the health services coordinator for Fayette County Public Schools. She said that over a student’s K-12 years, more than a dozen different shots are required – but there are exceptions.

“Number one, first and foremost is medical exceptions. So there are students who, whose health conditions are so fragile, that getting a vaccine would be dangerous to their health.”

Boian says other parents receive a religious exemption. She says in each case, parents must go through a process before sending their unvaccinated kids to school. Meantime, while measles has been in the news, Boian said it isn’t necessarily the chief concern of school officials.

“Measles is especially contagious. We also have had whooping cough and mumps, since I have been doing this job. Anytime a disease that that can be prevented through vaccination, start spreading through our population, it is cause for concern.”

Boian said she wants to remind people that no one ever died from a disease they never got.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.