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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO.: 18

 

POLICY CODE: JLCB

 

TO: Superintendents of Schools, Principals and School Nurses

FROM: Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

 

DATE: August 9, 2004

 

SUBJECT: Immunization Rule Extended

 

The varicella (chickenpox) vaccine or waiver was required (Chapter 126) for school entrance for students in kindergarten and 1st grade last school year. This school year, the rule is extended to include students in 2nd and 9th grade. Therefore, students in kindergarten through 2nd grade and 9th grade will be required to have one of the following:

 

 

It is anticipated that obtaining documentation for 9th grade students will pose the greatest challenge. In order to alleviate potential difficulties on those first days of school, the Department of Education and the Bureau of Health have interpreted the 90 day documentation period, identified in Chapter 26 to apply to the 9th grade situation, in order to accommodate this addition to the required vaccinations for students who are already enrolled in school. Other efforts to reduce problems include a planned Bureau of Health PSA targeting parents, a Bureau of Health offer to assist health care providers to identify children who have received vaccine or had disease, and a press release.

 

Following the 90 day period, according to State Statute, (MRSA Title 20-A 6355) a superintendent may not permit any student to be enrolled in or to attend school without a certificate of immunization or appropriate waiver.

 

Please direct questions to DeEtte Hall, School Nurse Consultant, Department of Education (624-6688 or deette.hall@maine.gov) or to the Immunization Program, Bureau of Health (287-3746).