What is the Epipen

Nationwide EpiPen shortage keeping some kids out of school

Chiquita Morris said her 5-year-old son, Eden, had just started kindergarten at Spanaway Elementary School in Spanaway, Washington, when she was told by school officials that Eden couldn’t come back until he has an EpiPen.

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“Yes, I understand I need to get one, but there’s nothing I can do,” Morris said.

During a nationwide EpiPen shortage, Morris is among those scrambling to find these epinephrine auto-injectors used to treat severe allergic reactions.

Morris said she's been calling multiple pharmacies every day but has had no luck while her son is missing school.

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KIRO looked up the Bethel School District website, and under the health services page, it said: "State law requires children with life-threatening conditions to have a medication and/or treatment order on file prior to the start of school."

Morris said in light of the EpiPen shortage, the school can do more to accommodate parents and help kids stay in school.

“I understand the health concern but I believe the school should have backup EpiPen as well, and not just parents,” said Morris.

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The EpiPen shortage is so bad that in August, the FDA extended the expiration date for some lots of EpiPens by four months.

But the extension does not apply for EpiPen Junior, which is meant for kids weighing 66 pounds or less.

Doctors are advising people who need EpiPens to renew their prescriptions early or get on a waiting list as soon as possible.

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