Required for School
Herman Rosen, M.D., F.A.C.P.
the school year about to begin, it is useful to review the New
York City Department of Health’s requirements for school children.
By law, all “new” students—children entering day care, nursery,
pre-school and kindergarten through grade 12 in NYC for the first
time (not those who graduate or transfer to another NYC school)—must
have a complete medical evaluation. All pre-kindergarten or younger
children must also have vision and hearing screening as well as
a blood lead test. New students who enter the school system in
secondary schools (intermediate school or higher) must have a
tuberculin skin test.
The law also has requirements for vaccination before entering
the school system. All youngsters born after 1999, who are at
least a year old, must have received at least one dose of chickenpox
vaccine in order to attend day care, nursery or pre-school. Starting
this school year, every student in the 7th, 8th or 9th grade must
have had the full series (two or three doses depending on the
formulation) of hepatitis B vaccine. For full compliance with
Department of Health rules, vaccination against the various childhood
diseases is necessary. These immunizations vary somewhat with
the age of the student. Day care and pre-kindergarten students
should receive the prescribed courses of DTP (diphtheria, tetanus,
–pertussis), poliovirus, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Hib (Haemophilus
influenzae type b), hepatitis B and varicella (chickenpox). For
older students, vaccines are prescribed as appropriate for their
New students may enter school provisionally without full compliance
with the immunization requirements with generally an initial dose
of each vaccine. However, they must complete the vaccinations
within a designated time or exclusion from school is mandated.
Parents should consult their child’s pediatrician for immunization
and health care. For more information about referral to physicians
and clinics in their neighborhoods, parents can call 1-(800) 325-2445,
anytime. Health insurance is available for most uninsured children
under age 19 in New York City under Child Health Plus, 1-(888)
Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001.
Tel: (212) 481-5519. Fax: (212) 481-3919.Email: email@example.com.
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