August 28, 2015 New Immunization Requirements For Students
With the start of school just around the corner, we take this opportunity to inform you about current legal requirements for student immunizations and recent changes issued by the New York State Department of Health (“DOH”). The new requirements will go into effect on September 1, 2015 and include revisions to the number and timing of required vaccine doses. The significant changes to the requirements are outlined below.
- Vaccines required for school entry:
- Two doses of measles and mumps vaccines and one dose of rubella vaccine (MMR) are required for school entry. Students may no longer wait until they are four through six years of age to obtain the second dose of the measles and mumps vaccines if they will be entering school before then.
- Five doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) are required for school entry. Students may no longer wait until they are four through six years of age to obtain the fifth dose if they will be entering school before then. However, if the fourth dose was obtained at four years of age or older, a fifth dose is not required.
- For students entering Kindergarten, 1st, 6th and 7th grades:
- Four doses of poliomyelitis vaccine (IPV) are required prior to the start of the school year. Students may no longer wait until they are four through six years of age to obtain the fourth dose if they will be entering school before then. However, if the third dose was received at four years of age or older, a fourth dose is not required. For students in all other grades, only three doses are required.
- Two doses of the varicella vaccine are required prior to the start of the school year. For students in all other grades, only one dose is required.
- Students entering 8th through 12th grades in the 2015-2016 school year must meet the immunization requirements set forth in the regulations in effect prior to July 1, 2014. Students that meet the requirements in effect on June 30, 2014 will be deemed to be compliant through high school graduation.
The new DOH requirements apply to public, private and parochial child-caring centers, day-care agencies, nursery schools, kindergartens and elementary, intermediate and secondary classes and school buildings. Attached is a copy of a chart issued by the DOH Bureau of Immunization summarizing the new dosing requirements for the 2015-2016 school year. The chart is also available at http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2378.pdf.
The New York State Department of Education recently issued an updated “Immunization Guidelines for Schools” that provides guidance with respect to the implementation of an effective school immunization program consistent with State laws and regulations. The Guidelines include the recent changes issued by the DOH. A copy of the Guidelines is attached and is also available at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/documents/IMMUNIZATIONGUIDELINESFORSCHOOLS62015.pdf. We recommend that you review them to ensure that your immunization program is being properly implemented.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the student immunization requirements.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2015
 Although the first page of the Guidelines indicates that it is from 2014, this document has been updated as of June 2015.