School Vaccination Changes

Written By: Asha McKenzie
School Vaccination Changes

STATEWIDE (WENY) -- The New York State Department of Health has upped the dosage requirement for common vaccines.
     Effective July 1st, children in Kindergarten and 6th grade have to get caught up on their shots before the school year begins.
     This is the first time in a decade the State Health Department changed immunization requirements.
     Health officials say it's important to get vaccinated, to avoid the growing risk of catching an illness.
     Chickenpox, Polio..DTAP all Required vaccinations but the required doses have risen.
     And for those wondering why the change happened...
     "So that we can be in line with the national standard put forth by the advisory committee on immunization practices," said Lorelei Wagner of the Steuben County Department of Health. "It's basically to make sure that more children are protected because there are still vaccine preventable diseases in the united states and in the world."
     All kids entering kindergarten and sixth grade are required to get 4 to 5 doses of the Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine, also known as whooping cough. 2 doses of the Chickenpox vaccine and 3 to 5 doses of the Polio vaccine.
     Health officials say it's important to get immunity early in life before exposure.
     "This year they chose kindergarten and 6th, next year the requirements will be for kindergarten and first, 6th and 7th and so forth until 2020- 2021 every kid will have the same requirements," said Wagner.
     Before the 2014-2015 school year, all are required to be immunized or on schedule to be.
     But New York state does recognize religious exemption.
     And we took to Facebook to ask parents their thoughts on the topic.
     Katelyn O'Shea Losinger says "Not all of us who choose not to vaccinate do so due to ridiculous fears. Have you ever experienced a child having an extremely bad reaction to a vaccine?"
     Rich LaVere says "The jokers are the people that don't immunize and put the rest of the population at risk...."