Vaccines mandatory for all Texas students, even those learning virtually

State decided vaccine rules will stay in effect for 2020-2021 school year

Vaccines mandatory for all Texas students, even those learning virtually

SAN ANTONIO – Many children will soon be returning to school virtually, but that doesn’t mean they can skip their vaccinations since the state is still mandating vaccines for all students.

Half of San Antonio’s children are behind on vaccinations, pediatric expert says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that regular vaccinations plummeted across the country when the pandemic hit, and families stayed home and missed well visits.

San Antonio doctors have confirmed they saw that trend as well.

“It’s a terrifying trend for health leaders. We don’t want to have a pandemic and then have some epidemics alongside it,” said Metro Health Immunization Clinic Supervisor Martha Groomer.

Groomer said she hasn’t seen reports of diseases like measles or mumps, but she said if kids don’t get vaccinated, that could easily change.

“We do know all it takes is for one person to be infected, and it spreads,” she said.

If your child is going back to school, it’s mandatory although there are some exemptions. The Texas Department of State Health Services has decided school vaccination rules are in effect for the 2020-2021 school year, regardless of whether the education is received virtually or in person. That goes for college students, too.

“They have to register to be at that school or to be part of the education curriculum. They will be asking for an immunization record, so they will know,” Groomer said.

The Metro Health clinic closed at the beginning of the pandemic. It will reopen August 17, but to take precautions, it won’t be accepting walk-ins.

Patients have to make an appointment, and everyone 2 and older will be required to wear a mask.

In person or virtually, students still need vaccines to go back to school

For those without insurance or a primary care doctor, there are clinics throughout the city providing free vaccinations:

There are also specific vaccine programs that can help kids and teens:

About the Authors:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.