Vaccinations Aid in School Custodians’ Infection Control Measures
School custodians play a crucial role in helping to protect students from disease through the cleaning and disinfection of educational facilities, especially of high-touch surfaces. Parents’ attitudes and school policies about vaccination can make custodians’ jobs easier or more difficult.
As communicable diseases such as measles and the flu can spread quickly among a student population, vaccination, combined with cleaning protocols, can help keep the illness rate down in a facility. However, a report from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI, stated about one-third of U.S. parents do not plan to have their children vaccinated against the flu this season, CNN reports. The top three reasons parents gave for not getting their children vaccinated included: they were concerned about the side effects, they believed it didn’t work very well in protecting children against the flu, and that they didn’t believe their healthy child needed to be vaccinated.
During the 2017-2018 flu season, 179 children died and hundreds were hospitalized, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the children who died, 80 percent were not vaccinated.
Some schools are taking matters into their own hands and requiring students to be vaccinated against life-threatening yet preventable diseases such as the measles. The Hebrew Academy of Cleveland in Cleveland Heights, OH, will no longer accept religious exemptions against vaccinations, Becker’s Hospital Review reports. School officials made their decision after learning about measles and chickenpox outbreaks in schools where a high population of students were unvaccinated.