Revisions to Chapter 126/ 261 Regulation:

Immunization Requirements for School Children were adopted on December 21, 2016. These rule changes ensure a safe and healthy school environment for all Maine students by requiring all children attending public or private schools in the State of Maine to receive the required vaccines recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).  The update to the number of Varicella exclusion days aligns with recommendations issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) and removes outdated implementation language. In addition, these updates of terms more clearly reflect the DHHS Office names and structure, to reduce confusion in following the rules.  In recent years, new vaccines against pertussis have been introduced to the routine immunization schedule for children and adolescents, recommended for youths aged 11 to 12 years; specifically Tdap. Pertussis is a highly contagious infection, often causing school or community outbreaks. Maine is one of only three states in the nation without a current Tdap school requirement. Changes to the joint rule include updating the vaccine dosage requirement to include 1 dose of Tdap vaccine for 7th grade entry, which will align with the CDC and ACIP current recommendations. Additionally, the required number of exclusion dates for Varicella disease will change from 16 days to 21 days to reflect the current US CDC school exclusion guidelines, an oversight from the previous change to this rule. The link to the rule is:   http://www.maine.gov/doe/rule/changes/index.html

For further information, contact Jaci Holmes at 624-6669 or by email at jaci.holmes@maine.gov.

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