New York State Health Department Revises and Updates School Immunization Requirements Effective September 1, 2015
The New York State Department of Health recently has adopted amendments to regulations at 10 NYCRR Subpart 66-1, addressing school immunization requirements. The amendments take effect on September 1, 2015. A detailed document with questions and answers regarding the changes to the regulations and their implementation is posted on the Department of Health website at: http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/immunization/schools/.
The following is a summary from the NYSDOH of the significant changes to the school immunization requirements:
- Children entering eighth through twelfth grades in the 2015-16 school year are deemed in compliance with all immunization requirements until graduation, if they had satisfied the requirements in regulation in the 2013-14 school year.
- Children entering kindergarten through seventh grades in the 2015-16 school year must have completed all required vaccine series, in accordance with Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) minimum intervals, upon school entry, unless they have acceptable evidence of immunity, or a medical or religious exemption to vaccination, or are in the process of completing vaccinations according to the ACIP schedule. A chart describing the vaccines required for each grade is attached.
- Doses of vaccine recommended for administration at four to six years of age, (e.g., measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP), and poliovirus vaccines), are now required to be received upon school entry.
For school year 2015-16, the following requirements apply only to kindergarten, first, sixth, and seventh grades:
- Four doses of poliomyelitis vaccine at appropriate intervals. However, if the third dose was given at four years of age or older, only three doses are required.
Students in prekindergarten, grades two through five and grades eight through twelve are required to have three doses of polio vaccine, but intervals do not need to be assessed.
- Two doses of varicella vaccine are required for students in grades kindergarten, first, sixth and seventh.
- Students in prekindergarten, grades two through five and grades eight through twelve are required to have one dose of varicella vaccine.
In addition, acceptable certificates of immunization have been clarified. The revised regulations provide that a certificate of immunization be signed by a health practitioner licensed to practice in New York State. However, a record issued by the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS), the Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR), an official immunization registry from another state, an electronic health record or an official record from a foreign nation may be accepted without a health practitioner’s signature.
For further information, log onto the New York State Department of Health at https://www.health.ny.gov