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New York changes immunization regulations

July 7, 2015 | Filed in Archive

JULY 7, 2015 – Are your school-age children up-to-date with all their shots? You may want to check with your doctor. New immunization requirements from New York State that go into effect Sept. 1 may mean parents need to revisit the physician’s office in order for their kids to start school.

In one change of the revised New York State Department of Health regulations, children entering kindergarten will no longer be able to wait until they are six for certain shots.

The New York Department of Education distributed the new rules to school districts June 30. School leaders are now scrambling to inform district parents so they can have the proper immunizations in time for the start of school.

According to NYSED, the immunization requirements for the 2015-2016 school year include:

  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) Grades K-12: Two doses of measles and mumps vaccines and one dose of rubella vaccine are required to enter school. (The second dose previously obtained in the age range of 4-6 years is no longer permitted.)
  • Polio (grades K, 1, 6 and 7): Four doses of poliomyelitis vaccine (IPV). If the third dose is received at four years of age or older, only three doses are required.
  • Polio (grades 2-5, 8-12): Three doses
  • DTaP (diphtheria and tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and acellular pertussis vaccine) Grades K-12, except for grades 8 – 12, noted below): Five doses required for school entry. If the fourth dose is received at four years of age or older, only four doses are required.
  • Students entering grades 8 – 12: Must meet immunization requirements in effect prior to July 1, 2014.

New York parents may still opt out of required vaccines due to religious beliefs or for medical reasons. However, recent outbreaks of measles around the country were thought to spread widely in areas and among people with low vaccination rates. School districts encourage parents to consider carefully decisions regarding vaccination in consultation with their physician before their children enter school.