Some new immunizations have been added to the list of required shots for schoolchildren in Maryland, based on recent outbreaks of meningitis and pertussis, Southern Maryland News reports.
Before starting school this fall, the new requirements from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene require students entering first grade or kindergarten to have received the following vaccinations:
- Two doses of Varicella, a chickenpox vaccine
Students entering seventh or eighth grade will need to show that they have received:
If students haven’t submitted records of the vaccines by the first day of school, they may be admitted to school temporarily only if they can show that the vaccines are pending or not required. A vaccine would be considered pending if the student’s parents had made an appointment with a doctor to administer the vaccines within 20 days of the start of school.
If students can’t show that they’ve already received or will soon receive the required immunizations, they can be excluded from school, so school officials are advising parents to take care of getting the shots and forwarding the records to the school during the summer—before it becomes an issue.
“My concern is that we have some showing up without vaccines or appointments scheduled, which before, we were allowed,” Southern Maryland News quoted Donna Nichols, supervisor of student services and school health for Calvert County Public Schools, as saying. “Now we have to know for sure that they’ve at least made the attempt of an appointment.”
For information on free clinics to administer the required vaccines to students in Calvert County, consult the article here. For a complete list of county health departments in Maryland, consult the page here, from Maryland.gov.
Measles is contagious but not often fatal. The outbreak of the disease in more than 100 people, connected with Disneyland in California in 2014, caused a debate across the US about the requirement that all schoolchildren be vaccinated against certain diseases. The woman’s case wasn’t linked to the Disneyland outbreak, though.