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Unimmunized Students blocked from Pfaff Elementary School
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Students at an elementary school in the Quakertown Community School District who have not been immunized for varicella/chicken pox will not be permitted to return for the remainder of this school year. The Bucks County Health Department issued the ruling Tuesday.

            The department has investigated several cases of the highly contagious disease at Pfaff Elementary School, located at 1600 Sleepy Hollow Road, according to a letter from Dr. David C. Damsker, director of the department, to Principal Orathia Bradley.

            Administrators have not discussed the number of impacted students, according to Gary Weckselblatt, the district's director of communications. He wrote in an email received Wednesday morning that Bradley personally phoned each parent whose student had not been vaccinated by Tuesday.   

           Citing Subchapter C, 27.60-27.65 of the Pennsylvania Code, health department officials directed student exclusion from the school for kindergarten through fifth grade who are unimmunized for varicella/chicken pox. A child kept out of school may return immediately upon proof of vaccination for varicella, or a physician's note verifying a confirmed prior diagnosis of varicella/chicken pox disease, according to the letter.

            The exclusion is scheduled to continue for 21 days, or until June 17, after the onset of the most recent case. The district's last day is June 14, according to information posted on its website.

            The letter from the health department encourages any parent whose child has only received a single done of the varicella vaccine to receive the recommended second dose as soon as possible. It states that a second dose is needed for high-level protection from the virus, and that parents should consult their health care provider immediately regarding this additional vaccination.

            District employees at Pfaff should also consider getting immunized if they have not had chickenpox or been vaccinated, according to the district statement. On Friday, May 24, Bradley sent out an email to the school community titled "Important Health Notice," informing parents and guardians that students may have been exposed to chickenpox while attending the school.





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