Information from the state on the repeal of non-medical exemptions from vaccination

From The New York State Department of Health, Office of Children and  Family Services and State Education Department: 

Effective June 13, 2019, Chapter 35 of the Laws of 2019 repealed non-medical exemptions from vaccination for children attending school.
This document is in follow-up to FAQs issued on June 18, 2019.

The 2019-20 School Year New York State Immunization Requirements for School Entrance/Attendance is available here.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) catch-up immunization schedule is available here.

 

VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO ALL STUDENTS

Public Health Law §2164, as amended by Chapter 35 of the Laws of 2019 applies to students attending all schools as defined in Public Health Law §2164 to include any public, private or parochial child caring center, day nursery, day care agency, nursery school, kindergarten, elementary, intermediate or secondary schools.

Public Health Law §2164, as amended by Chapter 35 of the Laws of 2019 prohibits a school from permitting any child to be admitted to such school, or to attend such school, in excess of 14 days without sufficient evidence that the child has received all age appropriate required vaccinations. The 14 days may be extended where the student is transferring from out of state or from another county and can show a good faith effort to get the necessary evidence or where the parent, guardian or any other person in parental relationship can demonstrate that a child has received the first age-appropriate dose in each immunization series and that they have age appropriate scheduled appointments for follow-up doses to complete the immunization services in accordance with the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommended Immunization Schedules for Persons Aged 0 through 18.

  1. Does the new law apply to children’s camps issued a permit by the State or
    local health department?

    No. The new legislation applies to schools as defined in Public Health Law §2164 and does not apply to children’s camps that are issued a permit by the State or local health department.

  2. My child had a religious exemption and attends summer school, or extended school year (ESY) for students with disabilities, which are not children’s camps. Does the new law apply to summer school/ESY and if so, what is the 7/18/2019 timeline I must follow to get my child vaccinated so my child can continue to attend school?

    Yes, the law applies to both summer school and ESY. Proof of immunization must be provided within 14 days after the first day of summer school/ESY. The 14 days may be extended where the student is transferring from out of state or from another country and can show a good faith effort to get the necessary evidence; or, where the parent, guardian or any other person in parental relationship can demonstrate that a child has received the first age-appropriate dose in each immunization series within the 14 days and that they have age-appropriate scheduled appointments for follow-up doses to complete the immunization series in accordance with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (“ACIP”) “Recommended Child and
    Adolescent Immunization Schedules for ages 18 years or younger.”

    Thereafter, if such students require additional vaccinations due to entering a new grade level when school starts again in the future, those students must provide evidence of having received any additional age-appropriate required immunizations within 14 days of the first day instruction commences. The 14 days may be extended where the parent, guardian or any other person in parental relationship can demonstrate that a child has received the first age-appropriate dose in each immunization series within the 14 days and that they have age-appropriate scheduled appointments for follow-up doses to complete the immunization series in accordance with the ACIP “Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedules for ages 18 years or younger.”
    https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html.

  3. When do parents need to provide proof of immunization in the fall for
    students who did not attend summer school or ESY?

    Proof of immunization must be provided within 14 days after the first day of
    instruction in September. The 14 days may be extended where the student is
    transferring from out of state or from another county and can show a good faith effort to get the necessary evidence or where the parent, guardian or any other person in parental relationship can demonstrate that a child has received the first ageappropriate dose in each immunization series within the 14 days and that they have age appropriate scheduled appointments for follow-up doses to complete the immunization services.

  4. Does the new law apply to attendance at activities that are on school property
    but open to the general public? Examples may include: SAT prep, sporting
    events, and plays.

    No. The new legislation does not apply to attendance at activities on school property that are open to the general public.

  5. My child’s school operates year-round, excluding ESY and summer school.
    When did the new law start applying to year-round schools?

    The change in the law took effect on June 13, 2019 and allowed 14 days for children to get their first dose of each required vaccine in order to be admitted to or continue attending school. Therefore, children at year-round schools were required to be vaccinated with the first doses by June 28, 2019. These children must be excluded from school immediately if they do not meet this requirement.

  6. Does this new law apply to students aged 18 and older?

    No. The mandatory vaccination law only applies to a child, which Public Health Law §2164(1)(b) defines as a person between the ages of two months and 18 years. Once a student reaches the age 18, he/she is no longer required to show proof of immunization.

  7. My child’s school operates a year-round day care center. When did the new
    law start applying to these year-round day care centers in schools?

    The change in the law took effect on June 13, 2019 and allowed 14 days for children to get their first dose of each required vaccine. Therefore, children at year-round day care centers are required to be vaccinated with the first doses by June 28, 2019. These children must be excluded from day care centers in school immediately if they do not meet these requirements.

  8. My child had a religious exemption before the new law was enacted. Is my
    religious exemption still valid?

    No. Religious exemptions are no longer valid in New York State.

  9. Does the new requirement apply to charter schools?

    Yes.

  10. Do I need to schedule all of my child’s appointments for all required doses,
    including all follow-up doses, within 30 days of the first day of attendance?

    Parents and guardians must demonstrate, within 30 days of the first day of
    attendance, that their child has age-appropriate appointments scheduled for the next follow-up doses to complete the immunization series in accordance with the ACIP schedule. However, the actual appointments for the follow-up doses may be more than 30 days out, so long as they are in accordance with the ACIP schedule available online at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/childadolescent.html.

  11. When are follow-up doses required for children who received their first doses
    prior to the change in law and are overdue for their next doses?

    Such students must still receive their next doses as soon as they are due, in
    accordance with the ACIP schedule. Children must receive all first doses, or overdue follow-up doses if they already received prior doses in a series, within 14 days of school or child day care attendance, and must provide evidence of age appropriate appointments for the next follow-up doses, in accordance with the ACIP schedule, within 30 days of the first day of attendance. All required vaccine schedules must be completed in accordance with the ACIP schedule. Here is a link for the routine immunization and catch up schedules:
    https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html

  12. Is the rotavirus vaccine required to attend school?

    No.

  13. My child never received the pneumococcal vaccine or Haemophilus Influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine as a baby. Now my child is entering kindergarten. According to the ACIP schedule, healthy children age 5 and older don’t need these vaccines. Does my child still need these vaccines to attend school?

    No. Pneumococcal and Haemophilus Influenzae type B (Hib) vaccines are only
    required for day cares and pre-kindergarten programs. Children in kindergarten through grade 12 do not need to receive a pneumococcal or Hib vaccine.

  14. Who may issue a medical exemption?

    Pursuant to Section 2164 of the Public Health Law, only physicians licensed to
    practice medicine in NYS may issue a medical exemption.

  15. Is serological evidence of immunity acceptable proof of immunization for
    school enrollment?

    A positive serologic test can be accepted as proof of immunity for school enrollment only for the following diseases: measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (chickenpox), hepatitis B and all three serotypes of poliomyelitis found in the polio vaccines.

  16. If I’m a Group Family Child Care Provider, with my own children in my home,
    in addition to day care children, what are my options regarding my own
    children who remain in the home during day care hours and are not
    vaccinated? Can they remain in another part of the house during day care
    hours?

    In home-based child care programs (family day care and group family day care), a provider’s own non-school aged children count in the program’s capacity and are considered to be enrolled in the program. The provider must comply with Public Health Law and New York State Child Care Regulations regarding immunizations, and must keep documentation of immunizations all enrolled children have received, including the provider’s own children. The provider’s own children who are enrolled in kindergarten or a higher grade do not count in the program’s capacity, and OCFS does not review immunization records of school-aged children.

  17. Are “homeoprophylaxis vaccines” acceptable alternatives for required
    vaccinations?

    No. Only licensed vaccines recommended by the ACIP are acceptable.

  18. Are out-of-country immunization records acceptable?

    Yes, as long as they are official records and can be read and understood by the
    school or have been reviewed and signed by a physician licensed to practice
    medicine in NYS.

  19. Are children allowed to follow a delayed vaccination schedule for required
    vaccines?

    No. The ACIP schedule must be used. Delayed vaccination schedules are not
    permitted.

  20. What does the June 30, 2020 date mean in the law?

    Until June 30, 2020, a child can attend school if they receive the first ageappropriate dose in each immunization series within 14 days from the first day of school attendance and can show within 30 days that they have scheduled ageappropriate appointments for required follow-up doses. This allows students who were not fully up-to-date on their vaccinations on June 13, 2019, when the law was enacted, to continue to attend school, as long as they receive the first ageappropriate dose in each immunization series within 14 days from the first day of school attendance and can show within 30 days that they have scheduled ageappropriate appointments for required follow-up doses. By June 30, 2020, all students who were attending school at the time the law was enacted are expected to be fully up-to-date on their required immunizations and therefore the 30-day extension allowing such children to be enrolled as long as they have scheduled appointments to complete their immunization series according to the ACIP schedule will expire.

  21. Can all required vaccines be given at the same time? Can the schedule be
    spread out?

    Scientific data show that getting several vaccines at the same time does not cause any health problems. If combination vaccines are used, the number of injections can be reduced. The highest number of vaccines that a child might need to attend school or daycare is seven. However, the number varies by age, and older children need fewer doses to catch up. It is important to note that infants routinely get multiple vaccines at once, according to the ACIP schedule. The ACIP schedule is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Practice, and is the standard of practice for vaccination in the United States. Vaccines can be spread out to start, so long as a child receives the first age-appropriate dose in each immunization series within 14 days of the first day of attendance.

  22. If a school doesn’t receive State Aid, can it offer religious exemptions to the vaccination requirement?

    No. All schools must comply with the immunization requirements, regardless of whether they receive State Aid. Public Health Law §2164(1)(a) defines “school” to include any public, private or parochial child caring center, day nursery, day care agency, nursery school, kindergarten, elementary, intermediate or secondary school.

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Tim O. Mains
Superintendent of Schools
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