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KDHE now requires meningitis, hepatitis A vaccines for school-age children

Posted at 4:47 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 17:47:58-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some children will be required to get additional vaccines before attending school this academic year in Kansas.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment proposed adding vaccination requirements for meningitis and hepatitis A to its regulations earlier this year followed by a 60-day public comment period.

KDHE announced Thursday that the regulations were approved and would go into effect Aug. 2.

“We received many comments and input from all viewpoints,” KDHE Secretary Lee Norman said in a statement. “We listened and read all of the input and concerns submitted to us. We looked at the evidence. Both Meningitis and Hepatitis A illnesses are severe and preventable, and the safety profile of the vaccines is well-recognized. As an agency charged to establish policies that protect and improve the lives of Kansans, we felt the addition of the two vaccines was essential for the health and safety of our state.”

Students entering kindergarten and first grade in Kansas beginning in 2019-20 will need two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine.

Students entering seventh grade will need a dose of the meningococcal ACWY vaccine, while students entering 11th grade will need a dose of the vaccine, if not vaccinated prior to their 16th birthday, and a second dose if vaccinated before their 16th birthday.

A full list of vaccine requirements is available on the KDHE website. They apply to public and nonpublic schools, which are responsible for ensuring compliance.

Legal exemptions to vaccination requirements on a medical basis must be submitted annually and religious exemptions sometimes are permitted, though the Food and Drug Administration is considering changes after last year’s measles outbreak.