Statement on Legislation Removing Non-Medical Exemption from School Vaccination Requirements
On June 13, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation removing non-medical exemptions from school vaccination requirements for children. The United States is currently experiencing the worst outbreak of measles in more than 25 years, with outbreaks in pockets of New York primarily driving the crisis. As a result of non-medical vaccination exemptions, many communities across New York have unacceptably low rates of vaccination, and those unvaccinated children can often attend school where they may spread the disease to other unvaccinated students, some of whom cannot receive vaccines due to medical conditions. This new law will help protect the public amid this ongoing outbreak.
What did the new law do?
As of June 13, 2019, there is no longer a religious exemption to the requirement that children be vaccinated against measles and other diseases to attend either:
- public, private or parochial school (for students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade), or
- child day care settings.
For those children who had a religious exemption to vaccination, what are the deadlines for being vaccinated?
Children who are attending child day care or public, private or parochial school, and who had a religious exemption to required immunizations, must now receive the first age appropriate dose in each immunization series by June 28, 2019 to attend or remain in school or child day care. Also, by July 14, 2019 parents and guardians of such children must show that they have made appointments for all required follow-up doses. The deadlines for follow-up doses depend on the vaccine. The New York State Department of Health follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices catch-up immunization schedule and expects children to receive required doses consistent with Table 2 at the following link in order to continue to attend school or child day care:
What is the deadline for first dose vaccinations if my child is not attending school until September?
Parents and guardians of all children who do not have their required immunizations are encouraged to have them receive the first dose as soon as possible. The deadline for obtaining first dose vaccinations for children attending school in the fall is 14 days from the first day of school. Within 30 days of the first day of school, parents and guardians of such children must show that they have made appointments for all required follow-up doses.
Additional information will be forthcoming.