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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO: 17

 

POLICY CODE: JLCB

 

TO: Superintendents, Dale Douglas (MSMA), and Dick Durost (Maine Principals Association)

 

FROM: J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner, Department of Education

Kevin Concannon, Commissioner, Department Human Services

 

DATE: September 9, 2002

 

SUBJECT:      New Immunization Rule for Schools

 

- PLEASE SEND ON TO PRINCIPALS AND SCHOOL NURSES -

 

Revisions in the joint rule, between the Departments of Education and Human Services, on immunizations have been adopted. The most significant changes in the rule are:

 

        Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine will be required for school enrollment. A graduated implementation will begin in school year 2003/2004, starting with kindergarten and 1st grade.

The schedule for implementation of the varicella vaccine is as follows:

 

Grade School Year

K, 1 2003/2004

K, 1,2,9         2004/2005

K, 1,2,3,6,9,10        2005/2006

K, 1,2,3,4,6,7,9,10,11         2006/2007

K 12 2007/2008

 

        The rule requires one of the following for school enrollment:

      a certificate of immunization;

      proof of immunity through a laboratory titer;

      reliable documented history of disease as determined by the students healthcare provider;

      an annual exemption for medical reasons from the healthcare provider; or

      an annual statement signed by the parent, identifying opposition to immunization because of a sincere religious belief, or for philosophical reasons.

 

The Rule can be found on the web at www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rcn/apa under the Department of Education, Chapter 126.

 

Materials to assist schools in implementing this rule can be found at the Maine Department of Education web site under School Health Manual www.maine.gov/education/sh/index.html. These materials are also available on disk or hard copy. If you have questions or wish to obtain materials, please contact DeEtte Hall, School Nurse Consultant, DOE at 624-6688 deette.hall@state.me.us or Scott Goulette, DHS, Immunization Program at 287-3746 scott.goulette@state.me.us.