by Kate McElhenny
This clip from NBC Washington misstates the number of students missing vaccinations as 28,000. (That would be almost 25 percent of the total student population!) A quick call to Sherrie Johnson, PGCPS Public Information Officer cleared up the confusion. Drop a zero.
The number remains disturbing at 2800. For comparison, Montgomery and Charles Counties have numbers of students without proper vaccinations in the single digits.
In the above clip, Dr. Angela Wakhweya, PGCPS Health Director, cites PGCPS for failing to reach out to residents with language and economic challenges as the reason for the high number of those without necessary vaccinations.
Missing student records were also mentioned as a cause. Some parents have questioned whether the number of students without proper immunization is actually as high as reported.
As a parent of a kindergartener, I was contacted by the district (after registration and before the start of school) for not having her immunizations on file. When reached, staff at her elementary school assured me that they did possess her files and there was no need for concern. A district employee called days later again stating that they did not have our daughter’s immunizations on file.
This is a common tale shared by parents of incoming kindergarteners and middle school students.
Today, Dr. Angela Wakhweya, PGCPS Health Director, has been placed on leave. PGCPS has not commented on the matter.