Monday, September 25, 2023

Virginia has Updated its Immunization Requirements for the New School Year

One step closer: Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have applied for a FDA emergency use authorization for their coronavirus vaccine. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Unsplash)
(Courtesy of Unsplash)

STATEWIDE — It’s not back-to-school season just yet, but parents are reminded to put vaccinations on their child’s to-do list before the end of summer.

After all, it’s the law.

The 2020 Virginia General Assembly changed the list of required immunizations for children attending school and child care centers, according to a press release from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). The list of necessary vaccinations was amended in order to stay in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Read the full list of changes passed by the General Assembly here.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and VDOE have prepared a webpage to help parents stay up-to-date with the new vaccination requirements. The page also includes a back-to-school checklist to help parents as they prepare their children for another school year.

According to the press release, students will need to have received the following immunizations and booster shots in order to attend many educational settings:

  • Two doses of properly spaced human papillomavirus vaccine for all children. The first dose is required before the child enters the seventh grade.
  • Two or three properly spaced doses of rotavirus vaccine, depending on the manufacturer, for children up to eight months of age.
  • Two properly spaced doses of hepatitis A vaccine. The first dose must be administered at age 12 months or older. The new hepatitis A vaccine requirement is an addition to the existing kindergarten immunization requirements.
  • Two properly spaced doses of meningococcal conjugate vaccine. The first is required prior to entry to the seventh grade. The second dose is required prior to entry to the twelfth grade.

These shots are necessary for students attending public and private schools, child care centers, nursery schools, family home day care centers, and developmental centers.

“I encourage school divisions to collaborate with local health districts to provide multiple opportunities for children and students to receive all of the required immunizations and booster shots before the beginning of the school year,” Lane said. “Many of our divisions are already doing this by taking advantage of summer learning and nutrition programs to increase convenience for parents and children, especially for families that rely on school-based clinics and public health agencies for much of their care.”

The COVID-19 vaccines are not included among required immunizations for the 2021-2022 school year.

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