Vaccination Requirements for New York Schools
From January 1, 2019 to May 30, 2019, there have been nine hundred seventy-one (971) confirmed cases of the measles in the United States—more than the previous twenty-five (25) years combined.
IntroductionSince the 1990’s, states have had mandatory vaccination requirements for public school children. With the recent measles outbreaks, states have begun to revoke religious and/or personal exemptions to the vaccination requirements. As of today’s date, five (5) states, California, Mississippi, West Virginia, Maine, and, most recently, New York, have eliminated the vaccination exemption for religious, personal, and/or philosophical beliefs.
New York State Assembly Bill A02371AThe New York law defines school as: “any public, private, or parochial child care center, day nursery, day care agency, nursery school, kindergarten, elementary, intermediate, or secondary school.” The New York State Assembly Bill A02371A repeals paragraph 9 of New York Public Health Law § 2164, which provided an exemption to the vaccination requirement for children “whose parents hold a genuine and sincere religious belief” against vaccination, among other amendments. As a result of the law, all children who attend any New York State school or daycare, are required to receive the following vaccinations: poliomyelitis, mumps, measles, diphtheria, rubella, varicella, hepatitis B, pertussis, tetanus, and where applicable, Haemophilus influenzae type b, meningococcal disease, and pneumococcal disease. The only remaining exemption to the vaccination requirement is if a physician certifies that immunization may be detrimental to the child’s health. However, if the immunization no longer risks the child’s health, then the exception no longer applies and the child must be vaccinated.
2019-2020 School YearAs of the start of 2019-2020 school year, if parents of unvaccinated children wish for the children to continue in public or private school in New York state, then they must vaccinate their children within fourteen (14) calendar days of the start of the school year. The fourteen (14) calendar day time frame may be extended to thirty (30) days if the child transferred from another state and can demonstrate a good faith effort to obtain the necessary certification of immunization or if the child received the first dose in each immunization series and has appointments scheduled to complete the series of vaccinations.