New Vaccinations Required for Maryland Students

- HAGERSTOWN, Md. - It's back to school time and with all the excitement of the new school year, parents might not always think of getting their children vaccinated. 

In Maryland, the state has new requirements for all schools, specifically for kindergarten and seventh grade students.

kindergärtners are expected to get two different varicella vaccinations. Washington County Health Department Spokesperson Rod MacRae said varicella is basically a booster shot.

For seventh graders, they'll be expected to receive one Tdap vaccination and one meningococcal vaccination. MacRae said these vaccines are to prevent from whooping coughs and meningitis.

"It builds antibodies of the particular targeted pathogens that your vaccinating against and over a period of time some vaccines the immunity begins to diminish some what with time and what were talking about with the seventh graders is a reinvigoration in you would of that immune response," MacRae said.  

Washington County schools are following what the Maryland State Board of Education recommends.

"The department of health and mental hygiene is our state health agency [it] monitors changes in health and medicine available and looks at the trends that they determines this year will be important to add some additional vaccines requirements," Bill Reinhard, spokesperson for the State Board of Education, said.

Students have until the September 9, or another 19 more days to get these new vaccines. If the students do not get the vaccines in time, Washington County Public Schools said they must have a doctors note for an appointment for a later date or face being excluded from school until the vaccination is given. 

For more information on vaccines click here.

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