NEW YORK CITY - August 17, 2006 - The New York City Departments of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and Education (DOE) today reminded parents and caregivers with school-aged children that every student must meet school immunization requirements before he or she can be admitted to schools or day care centers. All children who are newly entering day care, nursery school, pre-school or pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten through the 12th grade must also show proof of having received a complete medical evaluation. Public school starts Tuesday, September 5.
Students entering the 6th and 7th grade (children born on or after January 1, 1994) must now show proof that they have been immunized against chicken pox (varicella) or have had chicken pox in the past. The same chicken pox requirement now also applies to children entering daycare, pre-K, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade, as well as some 4th graders (children born on or after January 1, 1998).
"Getting your children immunized doesn't only protect them," said Dr. Oxiris Barbot, Medical Director for the DOHMH Bureau of School Health. "The school vaccination requirements guard all students from possibly life-threatening diseases that can be prevented by immunizations."
"We urge parents and doctors to make sure all children's immunizations are up to date before school starts - especially for chicken pox," said Dr. Jane R. Zucker, Assistant Commissioner for DOHMH's Bureau of Immunization. "Check with your doctor about getting the required vaccines for your child now. If you don't have insurance, or for help in finding an immunization clinic for your child, call 3-1-1."
Immunization Requirements for School-Aged Children
Children are required to receive a series of vaccinations to protect against childhood diseases, including diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), polio, hepatitis B, pertussis (whooping cough), varicella (chicken pox) and tetanus. Parents can call 311 or check the Health Department's website at www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/scah/scah0607.pdf for details about school immunization requirements. There may be other vaccinations your child needs even though they are not required for school. Talk to your health care provider or go to www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/sch2006-parents.pdf for details.
Children who do not meet the immunization requirements will not be allowed to attend school. Parents and caregivers should discuss their children's immunization requirements with their family physician now, before the start of the school year.
Where To Get Immunizations For Your School-Aged Child
In addition to their primary health care provider, children 4 years of age and older may receive the immunizations required for school at DOHMH walk-in immunization clinics in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Go to www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/imm/immclin.shtml for locations and hours of operation.
The NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) also offers childhood immunizations at its Child Health Centers around the City. Go to www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/community/childhealth.shtml for locations.
To find both DOHMH and HHC locations offering immunizations, please call 311.
Health Insurance for Children and Adolescents
If your child is under 19-years old and is uninsured, he or she is probably eligible for free or low-cost insurance through Child Health Plus. Visit www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/hca/plus2.shtml.
The Vaccines for Children Program
If you are a provider, the federally funded Vaccines for Children Program provides vaccine to doctors for their patients under 19 years of age who are uninsured, enrolled in Medicaid, or whose insurance does not cover the cost of immunization, so they can get the vaccinations they need for free. Providers can go to www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/imm/immvfc.shtml for more information.
Getting the Immunizations You Need - A "Take Care New York" Priority
Receiving necessary immunizations is a key step toward staying healthy - not just for children, but for adults too - and it's one of the top ten priorities of Take Care New York, the City's comprehensive health policy. Everyone - babies and older children, adolescents, and adults - needs regular immunizations to stay healthy, so talk to your physician or medical care provider about getting the needed vaccines. Visit www.takecarenewyork.org.