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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO. 20

 

POLICY CODE: JLCB

 

To:           Superintendents of Schools, High School Principals, Headmasters of Select Private

                 Schools, School Board Chairs

 

From:     J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner

 

Date:      September 26, 2001

 

Re:         Deferred Td Booster requirements and Public Law 326 – An Act to Amend 

               School Immunization Requirements

 

     Due to a national Td vaccine shortage, students who have not received their Td booster should not be excluded from school this year.   Schools should have a recall system in place in order to notify this year’s deferred students who will need the Td booster next year. 

 

     The 120th Maine State Legislature passed LD 1563 An Act to Amend School Immunization Requirements.  This statute (Public Law Chapter 326) makes the following changes in the law governing immunizations.

 

1.      The law no longer specifies which immunizations are required for school enrollment; rather, it requires those immunizations to be defined through rule making. 

2.      “Philosophical or religious exemption” has been changed to eliminate the exemptions for ‘moral’ or ‘other personal’ reasons, however, exemptions based on ‘sincere religious belief’ and for ‘philosophical reasons’ remain. This change goes into effect this school year.

 

     The Department of Education and the Bureau of Health will introduce rule changes during this year that would be in effect starting school year 2002-2003.  It is anticipated that the rule changes would include the introduction of the varicella vaccine (chicken pox).

 

     For further information, please contact DeEtte Hall, School Nurse Consultant, Maine Department of Education (624-6688 or e-mail deette.hall@state.me.us.