Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, all 7th grade students are required to have one dose of the Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) in order to attend school. For more details, please see the Frequently Asked Questions from the Maine CDC as well as the letter that has been e-mailed to all CEMS parents (below).
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education revised the Maine School Immunization Requirements rule on December 20, 2016. The changes further align Maine’s immunization rules with current national recommendations to better protect the health of all Maine people. The following two changes were made:
- Effective immediately, the exclusion period for varicella disease (chicken pox) has increased from 16 days to 21 days. This means that any child who has not provided proof of immunization or history of disease will be unable to attend school or any school related activity for 21 days. This time period will be extended if any further chicken pox cases occur after the first. The law requires a 21 day exclusion period after the LAST case.
- Effective for the 2017-2018 school year, all students entering, advancing, or transferring into seventh (7th) grade will need to receive one dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine before attendance is allowed. This requirement is for 7th grade students only; grades 8-12 are not included in this rule change.
You can find a link to the rule (Chapter 126 / 261) here: http://www.maine.gov/doe/rule/changes/index.html
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a very contagious respiratory disease that can be severe and last for months. The immunity received from either early childhood immunization or pertussis disease wears off over time, leaving older students and adults susceptible to pertussis. Immunization with Tdap can protect students, schools and communities against whooping cough.
We are providing you with this information now so that you have ample time to schedule an appointment prior to the first day of the 2017-2018 school year. Attached please find the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on this new school immunization requirement.
If you believe your child has already received a dose of Tdap, please send an updated immunization record to the health office.