New back-to-school immunizations required by state

Beginning Sept. 1, 2016, students entering seventh and 12th grades must be vaccinated against meningococcal disease in order to attend school in New York state.

The state Department of Health notified school districts that a new law requires immunizations against meningococcal disease for children at ages 11 or 12 and again at 16 years of age or older, as recommended by the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The law is scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1, 2016.

Under the new law, one dose of meningococcal vaccine is required before 7th grade. If a child had the first dose as a sixth-grader, then another dose is not required until 12th grade. A total of two doses will be required before 12th grade. Most students entering 12th grade received their first dose when they were younger and are now due for their second dose, or booster. The only students who will not need a second dose before 12th grade are those who got their first dose on or after their 16th birthday.

Other Immunization Requirement Changes:

1. Students entering pre-kindergarten, nursery school or day care on or after September 1, 2016 must have received immunization against polio in accordance with ACIP minimum and recommended intervals.
square bulletThe number of doses of polio vaccine has not changed, however the regulations are expected to change to clarify that these doses must be in accordance with ACIP minimum and recommended intervals.

2. For school year 2016-17, the following requirements will apply only to kindergarten and grades 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8:
square bulletFour doses of poliomyelitis vaccine. However, if the third dose was given at four years of age or older, only three doses will be required.
square bullet Students in prekindergarten, grades 3 through 5 and grades 9 through 12 will be required to have three doses of polio vaccine.
square bulletTwo doses of varicella vaccine.
square bulletStudents in prekindergarten, grades 3 through 5 and grades 9 through 12 will be required to have one dose of varicella vaccine.

3. Children entering grades 9 through 12 in the 2016-17 school year will be exempted from the interval requirements if they had satisfied the requirements in regulation in the 2013-14 school year. However, students in grade 12 will still be required to comply with the new meningococcal vaccine requirement.

For a full list of immunization requirements, please click here.