Important Reminder of Deadline for New Maryland Vaccination Requirements for Students in Kindergarten, 7th Grade
Parents and guardians of students in kindergarten and 7th grade who still need the new required vaccinations have numerous opportunities this month to have their child vaccinated prior to the date when a student without the required vaccinations must be excluded from school.
Maryland immunization regulations that were new last year mean additional vaccinations are required for students entering kindergarten and 7th grade:
- Students entering kindergarten are required to have had two (2) doses of Varicella vaccine (for Chickenpox). Prior to the 2014-2015 school year, only one (1) dose of Varicella vaccine was required.
- Students entering 7th grade are required to have had one (1) dose of a booster Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis/whooping cough) vaccine and one (1) dose of Meningococcal vaccine. These vaccine requirements were new for 7th graders last school year. (The new immunization requirements must also be met by students in the 8th grade, most of whom already meet the new requirements.)
Parents/guardians who have not already done so should contact the child’s primary care provider to ask questions and to receive the new immunizations. The new immunizations are also available at no cost through the Wicomico County Health Department, which will support Wicomico County Public Schools and families with free walk-in clinics from 8 a.m.-noon Sept. 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22 and 23, and from 5-7:30 Sept. 16 only. A parent or guardian must bring a copy of the child’s most recent immunization record in order for the child to receive the required immunization. The clinics will be at the Health Department’s Fritz Center, 300 W. Carroll St. Salisbury. If unable to make one of these clinics, or to inquire about scheduling an appointment for any other immunizations, parents/guardians should call the Health Department at 410-543-6943.
Maryland immunization law states that children must be excluded from school if they do not have up to date immunizations within 20 calendar days of admission to the school. Parents/guardians of students not yet meeting the new immunization requirements must now provide the school office with notice that the student has an appointment for immunization within 20 days. This notice may be a note from a doctor’s office or clinic, or a note or verbal notification from the parent/guardian with the date of the appointment or walk-in clinic within 20 calendar days. The appointment must be kept within that 20 days, and proof of immunization provided to the school for the student to continue attending.
For a student who started 7th grade on Sept. 1, the 20-day deadline would be reached on Sept. 21. A student not meeting the new immunization requirements would not be able to attend school as of that date, until proof of immunizations was provided. Parents of students in kindergarten must provide proof of immunization to the school by 20 calendar days from the first day the student came to school.
The immunization chart with new requirements is posted on the school system’s website: