As of September 1, 2016, all public and private school students entering grades 7, 8 & 12 in New York State must be fully vaccinated against meningococcal disease types A, C, W and Y in order to attend school.
The meningococcal vaccine protects against serious and sometimes deadly diseases such as meningitis (an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and sepsis (blood infections). That’s why the vaccine is sometimes called the meningitis vaccine.
The vaccine is administered as a shot.
For the 2017-18 school year:
- One dose of meningococcal vaccine is required for students who will be in 7th or 8th grade. If your child had the first dose before 7th grade, then another dose is not required until 12th grade.
- Two doses will be required before 12th grade. Most students entering 12th grade got their first dose when they were younger and are now due for their second dose, or booster. This booster is needed because protection from the vaccine decreases over time.
- A small number of teens who received two doses before their 16th birthday may need a third dose on or after their 16th birthday in order to enter 12th grade.
- The only teens who will not need a second dose before 12th grade are those who got their first dose on or after their 16th birthday.
It’s best to check with your doctor to see whether or not your child needs the vaccine. Students who are not up-to-date will not be allowed to attend school until they are vaccinated.
For more information, please visit the NYS Department of Health web site.