New immunization regs kicking in

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BY REBECCA ISENHART
Gazette Reporter

NISKAYUNA — Updated immunization requirements for school-aged children will go into effect the first day of September, according to the state Department of Health.

While the types of immunizations required for school admittance will remain the same, the acceptable timelines for the immunizations has, in some cases, changed.

Previously, it was acceptable for children to get the last immunization in a series of several after entering school, between the ages of 4 and 6. For the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), DTap (diphtheria and tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and acellular pertussis), and polio vaccines, this is no longer the case. Children must receive the full sequence of vaccines before entering school in the fall.

Niskayuna Central School District Communications Specialist Matt Leon said it would be difficult to quantify exactly how many people within the district would be affected by the change.

“Kindergarten, primarily, it would seem we’re talking about,” he said. However, students in other young grades, especially first grade, and students transferring from other states or countries at almost any grade could also be affected.

Leon suggested that all parents check their students’ immunization records by calling their family physicians, just to be certain.

“[The requirements] have been changing a little bit in recent years,” he said.

“Like anything else, we appreciate our families’ cooperation with this,” he added.