For Immediate Release: August 13, 2007
Media Contact: Communication Office
BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health has proposed a number of updates to the state rules that specify the immunizations students are required to have before starting school.
The proposed changes, if approved, would be effective with the school year starting in 2008, and would affect all students entering Kindergarten through grade 12 – as well as students attending any college, university or other post-secondary institution in Vermont.
The Health Department is inviting public comment on the new recommendations through Sept. 14, 2007.
“These updates are needed to keep Vermont’s rules up-to-date with the most current immunizations recommendations, to improve immunization rates and protect students from a number of vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Cort Lohff, MD, state epidemiologist for the Health Department. “Most importantly, this will help prevent the spread of diseases within schools.”
Some of the most important changes:
- A new requirement that all students have two doses of chickenpox (varicella) vaccine or sign a form stating they have had the disease.
- A new requirement that students in grades 7 through 12 have a booster dose of a new vaccine that protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
- A new requirement that first year college students who will be living in a dormitory have a vaccine that protects against meningitis.
Vermonters are invited to provide comments or submit questions through the website, or call the Health Department at 802 863-7240 (800-434-4360 in Vermont).