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10 Percent of District Students Lack Immunizations

New state requirements mean more students need to catch up on their shots.

About 10 percent of the students in the Bethlehem Area School District are behind in immunizations required by the state to attend school, district administrators told school directors on Monday.

The unusually high number is due to changes made in state requirements a few years ago that are now coming due to be enforced, said Assistant Superintendent Jack Silva.

About 1,400 students still need to show proof of having up-to-date vaccinations or risk being excluded from school as of April 30, 2012, he said, adding that the district has sent out numerous notices to parents about the issue.

To help complete the requirements, the Bethlehem Health Bureau is offering free MMR, Hepatitis B and tetanus vaccines to students through the school nurses' offices by request with written parental consent.

Parents that wish to take advantage of the free service should contact their child's school nurses office to make the arrangements, Silva said.

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