Beginning on Thurs., Sept. 1 students entering seventh and 12th grades must be vaccinated against meningococcal disease in order to attend school in New York State. Does your child need to be vaccinated before the start of the 2016-17 school year to meet this requirement? The answer depends on more than just your child’s age and grade level. When or if a child has previously been vaccinated for meningococcal disease will determine when shots will be necessary under the state’s new requirements that go into effect Sept. 1, 2016:
• One dose of meningococcal vaccine before seventh grade. If a student had the first dose as a sixth grader, then another dose is not required until grade 12.
• A total of two doses are required before grade 12. Most students entering grade 12 received their first dose when they were younger and will be due for their second dose, or booster. This booster is needed because protection from the vaccine decreases over time.
• The only teens who will not need a second dose before grade 12 are those who received their first dose on or after their 16th birthday.
Parents are encouraged to check with their child’s physician prior to the start of the new school year to determine when or if they need to be vaccinated. Students not up-to-date will not be allowed to attend school until they are vaccinated.