New York State law requires that students have a physical exam and have certain immunizations before they can attend public school.
Student Physical Exams
State law requires that pupils have a physical exam:
- When they enter the district.
- When they enter kindergarten and grades 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11.
- Before participating in interscholastic sports.
Here are the forms to print and use:
- Required NYS Health Exam Form – For your physician to complete when your child has a physical. This form MUST be used. No other form can be accepted.
- Sports Recertification Form – To be completed within the 30 days before the first day of interscholastic sports tryouts UNLESS the full medical examination was performed within those 30 days before the start of tryouts.
- Dental Health Certificate – For your dentist to complete when your child has a dental check-up. (Not required but suggested.)
In July 2014, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) revised immunization requirements for school attendance to be consistent with recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The ACIP is a national group of medical and public health experts. The new requirements took effect on July 1, 2014 and were developed to reduce the number of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles and whooping cough. No new vaccines are required, but the number of doses required and the time intervals between doses has changed.
Proof of the following immunizations is required for school entry in New York State:
- Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis Toxoid: minimum 3 doses
- Polio: minimum 3 to 4 doses
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella: 2 doses usually given as MMR (otherwise, 2 Measles and 1 each of Mumps and Rubella) Only one dose is required for kindergarteners to enter school but the second dose must be received by age 7.
- Hepatitis B: 3 doses
- Varicella: minimum 2 dose
Parents should use the Required NYS Health Exam form to submit proof of required immunizations, including dates that immunizations were received and a physician’s signature.
Since 2007 New York State Public Health Law has required that all students upon entering 6th grade must receive an additional immunization containing tetanus toxoids, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap).
There are 2 vaccines available:
- Adacel for people ages 11 – 65
- Boostrix for ages 10 – 18 years
The key points regarding Tdap Immunizations are:
- Students who are entering 6th grade and are 11 years of age must receive an immunization of Tdap before the first day of school in order to start 6th grade.
- Students who will be 10 years old on entering 6th grade have 2 options: Option 1: vaccinate 10 years olds with Boostrix or Option 2: wait until student is 11 years of age and then vaccinate with Adacel. In cases where the 6th grade student turns 11 after the start of school, documentation from the doctor of the appointment to receive the vaccine when the student turns 11 should be turned into the middle school nurse by August 15th.
- For students who are already 11 years old, but do not have an appointment for their physical until after the start of school, documentation from the doctor of the appointment should be turned into the school by August 15th. Documentation of the vaccination should be turned into the school nurse immediately following the appointment.
- If a student received a Td, DT or DTaP vaccination within the last two years, the student’s Tdap vaccination should be deferred (with rare exceptions) until a period of two years has elapsed. Documentation from the physician is required.
All children entering grades 7 and 12 must have the meningococcal vaccine before they can begin school. The only students who do not need a second dose before grade 12 are those who got their first dose when they turned 16.
About the Vaccine:
- It’s not a new vaccine. It’s been recommended for a decade.
- Most parents already choose to vaccinate their children.
- What’s new is that the vaccine is now required for school entry.
About Meningococcal Disease:
- It causes bacterial meningitis and other serious diseases.
- Teens and young adults are at greater risk.
- It comes on quickly and without warning.
- Its symptoms are similar to the flu.
- Every case of this disease can result in death or long-term disability.
Check with your doctor. Even kids who have had a shot before may need a booster to start school.
Proof of the meningococcal vaccine must be sent to the school nurse before the start of the school year.