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State Health Department announces updated school immunization requirements

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) announced it has revised immunization requirements for school attendance to meet updated national standards. The updated requirements, which do not add any new vaccines for school entry, but update the number of doses required and the minimum intervals between doses, went into effect July 1.

The changes were made so that New York’s immunization requirements are consistent with the most current childhood and adolescent immunization recommendations made by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACIP is a group of medical and public health experts that develops recommendations on how to use vaccines to control diseases in the U.S. These recommendations are intended to help reduce the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases.

“Immunizations protect children from serious childhood diseases, like whooping cough and measles, and have an excellent track record of safety and effectiveness,” said Acting State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. “I encourage parents to talk to their children’s healthcare provider and work with their school’s health services to ensure that all immunizations are up-to-date.”

Because of the success of vaccines in preventing disease, parents may not have heard of some of today’s vaccines or the serious diseases they prevent. These diseases can be especially serious for young children. That is why it is important to follow the recommended immunization schedule to protect children by providing immunity early in life, before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.

Vaccine-preventable diseases still circulate in the U.S. and around the world, so continued vaccination is necessary to protect people from potential outbreaks. Even when diseases are rare in the U.S., they can be brought into the country by infected individuals, putting unvaccinated people at risk.

New School Immunization Requirements

The new requirements, which apply to daycare, head start, nursery, pre-kindergarten and grades kindergarten through 12, represent the continued effort to protect students from vaccine-preventable diseases. The changes mark the first update to school immunization requirements in over a decade, and include:

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