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Meningococcal Vaccine School Requirement


Now in New York State

Image of an apple sitting on a school bookParents:
All kids entering 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 12th grade must have the meningococcal vaccine.
Without it, they can’t start school.

About the Vaccine:
  • It’s not a new vaccine. It’s been recommended for a decade.
  • Most parents already choose to vaccinate their children.
  • The meningococcal vaccine has been required for school entry since Sept. 1, 2016.
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.

Immunization is Protection.

As of September 1, 2016, all public and private school students entering 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th (added in 2019), and 12th grades in New York State must be fully vaccinated against meningococcal disease types A, C, W and Y in order to attend school.

The meningococcal vaccine protects against serious and sometimes deadly diseases such as meningitis (an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and sepsis (blood infections). That's why the vaccine is sometimes called the meningitis vaccine.

The vaccine is administered as a shot.

For the new school year:

  • One dose of meningococcal vaccine is required for students who will be in 7th, 8th, 9th, or 10th grade. If your child had the first dose before 7th grade, then another dose is not required until 12th grade.
  • Two doses will be required before 12th grade. Most students entering 12th grade got their first dose when they were younger and are now due for their second dose, or booster. This booster is needed because protection from the vaccine decreases over time.
    • A small number of teens who received two doses before their 16th birthday may need a third dose on or after their 16th birthday in order to enter 12th grade.
    • The only teens who will not need a second dose before 12th grade are those who got their first dose on or after their 16th birthday.

It's best to check with your doctor to see whether or not your child needs the vaccine. Students who are not up-to-date will not be allowed to attend school until they are vaccinated.

Click here for the Meningococcal Disease Factsheet on the TCWH site.