HAZLE TOWNSHIP -- Officials in one school district in Luzerne county are scrambling, trying to deal with a new state law.
Hundreds of students who haven't been vaccinated don't know what the future holds for them.
It's back to school for students in the Hazelton Area School District but just five days into the new school year, some students may be forced to take a break.
The acting superintendent says nearly 300 high school seniors don't have the required booster shot to vaccinate them against meningococcal bacteria, which causes meningitis, a rare but deadly disease.
“I think that they should have it obviously because then you put other kids in jeopardy,” said Leah Bane-Wiesowitz.
“They made an announcement and a bunch of people got called down to the cafeteria for people who didn't have it,” said senior Ryan Steiner.
The Pennsylvania Health Department changed the law for some vaccinations for school districts this year, requiring those entering the 12th grade to get a second shot of MCV, the vaccine to help prevent meningitis.
“When I was told about it over the announcement, I was like why do we need to get a second vaccine because we already had a shot,” said senior Luciano Stranko.
These students say they were told any students without that vaccination may not be allowed to return to school after the Labor Day holiday on Monday.
“You're only allowed six unexcused absences a year and so if you don`t have the vaccine you're not allowed in school and they are not excused so you have to get it in as soon as possible,” said Steiner.
“I got it today, so I got to be to school on Tuesday,” said Stranko.
“My appointment is in like three weeks so I'm trying to figure out what's going to go on for now so if they don't let me back I guess I can miss a few days of school,” said senior Franklin Cunningham.
The acting superintendent now says district and high school administrators along with the nursing staff plan to meet with those affected seniors on Tuesday to discuss a plan of action in getting everyone vaccinated as soon as possible.
“I'm very glad because it's like a cooperation between the staff and the students at our school,” said Aidan Malloy.
The district hopes to have a plan in place by Tuesday that will be passed along to students and parents.