Vaccinations Required for School Attendance

Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) and the Nassau County Department of Health are reminding families that updating children’s vaccinations should be added to their back-to-school list.

“To ensure the health of every child this school year, it is important for parents and guardians to inoculate their children,” Jacobs.

Beginning with the 2007-08 school year, students entering 6th grade, or a comparable age-level special education school or program, and who are 11 years of age or older must receive a tetanus, diphtheria, adult pertussis (Tdap) vaccination. This is the first time a pertussis containing vaccine has been available that is formulated for children over age 7 and adults. Its availability is important because recently there has been a significant increase in pertussis in both groups.

If a student has received a tetanus and diphtheria combined vaccine (td or DT) or a pediatric diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) vaccination within the last two years, the students Tdap vaccination can be deferred until a period of two years has elapsed. Ten-year-old students who are entering 6th grade will not be required to receive a Tdap vaccine and will not be excluded from school, but they must be immunized when they turn 11 years old.

In addition to the immunizations required by primary and secondary schools, the following are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Influenza, pneumococcal, meningococcal, rotavirus, hepatitis A, and human papilloma virus vaccines. These groups also recommend additional doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, mumps, rubella, polio, haemophilus influenzae type b, and varicella vaccines. Some of these may be obligatory for enrollment in post-secondary schools or health care training programs.

New York States Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) provides required vaccines to health care providers at no cost for uninsured children and those whose health insurance does not cover immunizations. For more information, contact the child’s health care provider or call the Nassau County Department of Health Immunizations Hotline weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at 571-1680.