State now requires meningitis vaccination in
grades 7, 12
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 on Nov. 24 that a new law, approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo
in October, 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.
The New York State Department of Health plans to work with the New
York State Education Department and other partners to draft
regulations and create materials to help implement this new
requirement. Parents can anticipate more information about which
students will be affected by this law and any waiver options once
details become available. Contact your physician for more
Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial
infection that can lead to meningitis (inflammation of the lining
covering the brain and spinal cord) and bloodstream infections such
as septicemia. Symptoms of the disease include a high fever,
headache, vomiting, a stiff neck and a rash. The meningococcus
bacterium is treatable with antibiotics, but each year it causes
approximately 2,500 infections and 300 deaths in the United States.
Those who contract the disease may experience permanent brain
damage, hearing loss, kidney failure, loss of arms or legs, or
chronic nervous system problems.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
has found the highest rates of meningococcal disease to be among
preteens, teens, and young adults, as well as among infants with
certain medical conditions. The new law targets many in this age
group and aligns with the CDC’s recommendation to vaccinate 11- to
18-year-olds against meningococcal disease.
Learn more about meningococcal disease and the
meningococcal disease vaccine at the links below:
Meningococcal disease information (Centers for Disease Control
Meningococcal disease fact sheet (New York State Department of
Recommended vaccinations for children aged 11-19 years (New York
State Department of Health)
Copyright 2015, Capital Region BOCES School
Communications Portfolio; All rights reserved. For more information
or permission to use, call 518-464-3960.