Dozens of sixth-graders in Nash County have been suspended Wednesday after a state deadline passed that requires them to be immunized for certain illnesses.
Last week, the system reported 174 middle school students had not received TDAP boosters that protect against diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough.
School officials said they had to suspend 71 of those students yesterday until they received their shots.
"We're hoping that all students will be vaccinated if not by the end of this week, then by the end of next week," said Ashley Simmons with Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools. "We don't want instruction to be disturbed. That's our main concern."
North Carolina law requires students entering the sixth grade be immunized for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis by the start of the school year and provides a 30-day grace period.
Simmons said as of late Thursday, 40 of the 71 suspended students returned to school after getting their shots.