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Posted on: August 30, 2019

Orange County Health Commissioner reminds parents of new State vaccination laws

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Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman is reminding parents about the new State vaccination laws.

In June, New York State lawmakers voted to end religious exemptions from immunizations required for school children.

“With most schools commencing next week, it is important to note that the recent amendment to Public Health Law Section 2164 no longer allows non-medical exemptions to school vaccination requirements, for children attending day care and pre-K through 12th grade in New York State. We urge parents to contact their children’s medical care providers, as it is imperative that children who attend daycare or public, private or parochial school meet all requirements before the start of the 2019-20 school year. Children with nonmedical exemptions must now be vaccinated to attend or remain in school.”

Students who already have all required school vaccinations, and students with a valid medical exemption from a physician, are not affected by this change.  

A medical exemption is allowed when a child has a medical condition that prevents them from receiving a vaccine.  Please keep in mind that medical exemptions must be reissued annually.  The medical exemption must be completed and signed by a New York State licensed physician and must contain sufficient information to identify medical contraindication to a specific immunization.

Dr. Gelman noted the following:

Within 14 days of the first day of school or day care: Children must receive the first age-appropriate dose in each immunization series to attend or remain in school or day care.

Within 30 days after the first day of school or day care: Parents or guardians must show that they have appointments for the next required follow-up doses for their child. Deadlines for follow-up doses depend on the vaccine.

Dr. Gelman reminds residents that the Measles Outbreak continues in Orange County with several new cases in the past weeks. There have now been 57 reported cases of measles in Orange County. Those individuals lacking immunity or not sure if they have been vaccinated are at risk of developing measles.  Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis and/or runny nose. Symptoms usually appear in 10-12 days after exposure but may appear as early as 7 days and may take as long as 21 days.    

It is important for families to review the pertinent information and work with their children’s healthcare provider to make sure all immunization requirements are met before the start of the 2019-20 school year. The Orange County Department of Health holds regularly scheduled immunization clinics for uninsured or under-insured residents. Please contact us at (845) 291-2330 with further questions.

State law requires parents/guardians to give the school an immunization record that shows their child has received or has appointment(s) to receive the required vaccine(s) in order to attend school. This record may be from a health care provider, health department, or an official immunization record from the child's former school. The record must include: the name of the vaccine; the date the vaccine was given; and the name with title of the administering medical provider; and/or place of administration.

“Immunization remains one of the most impactful public health interventions available and making sure our children are up to date on all of their required vaccinations is critical to protect all of us from vaccine preventable diseases,” Gelman said. “Collectively, we can help ensure that our children have a healthy head-start on a successful school year.”

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