Meningococcal vaccine required for all students entering Grade 7 and Grade 12

As of Sep. 1, 2016, all public and private school students entering Grade 7 and Grade 12 in New York State must be fully vaccinated against meningococcal disease in order to attend school.

The meningococcal vaccine protects against serious and sometimes deadly diseases such as meningitis (an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and sepsis (blood infections). That’s why the vaccine is sometimes called the meningitis vaccine. The vaccine is administered as a shot.

If you are the parent or guardian of a current Grade 6 or Grade 11 student, please check with the student’s doctor to see whether or not your student needs the vaccine. Students who are not up-to-date will not be allowed to attend school until they are vaccinated according to New York State Public Health Law.

Meningococcal vaccines are safe and 85-100 percent effective. However, they may cause mild and infrequent side effects, such as headache or redness and pain at the injection site lasting up to two days. A small percentage of people who get the vaccine develop a fever. Serious allergic reactions are very rare.

For more information, please call Mrs. Smyth at Seward at 651-3095, ext. 30102,  or visit these websites:

From the CDC: Meningococcal Vaccination for Preteens and Teens: Information for Parents

From the CDC: What Everyone Should Know about Meningococcal Vaccines

From the NYS Dept. of Health: Meningococcal Disease Fact Sheet