Get Ready for Summer Well Visits: New Meningococcal Vaccine Mandate Takes Effect for 2016-2017 School Year

A new law in Ohio requiring students to be vaccinated against meningococcal disease TIES-for-ohio-aap-todaygoes into effect this fall, for the 2016-17 school year. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends children be vaccinated against meningococcal disease beginning at 11-12 years old with a booster dose at age 16.

The new Ohio legislation, signed into law in July 2015, required the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) write guidance for when the vaccine should be required. ODH released the Director’s Journal entry in January of 2016 and states that “all pupils entering the 7th and 12th grade are required to be vaccinated against meningococcal (serogroups A, C, W, and Y) disease. One (1) dose of meningococcal (serogroups A, C, W, and Y) vaccine is required prior to entry into the 7th grade. A second dose is required prior to entry into the 12th grade.”

The 2014 National Immunization Survey, released last September, showed 73.7% of Ohio 13-17 year-olds are vaccinated against serogroups A, C, W, and Y. The national average is 79.3%, much closer to the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80%. The legislation was introduced and championed by Sen. Cliff Hite, whose niece died of meningococcal disease.

The Ohio AAP runs a free, statewide immunization education and training program for healthcare providers. Maximizing Office Based Immunization (childhood vaccines) and Teen Immunization Education Sessions (adolescent vaccines) both offer one hour of continuing medical education credit and numerous free resources during an in-office presentation scheduled to fit into your practice’s busy workday. Contact Melanie Farkas, program manager, at (614) 846-6258 with questions or to schedule your program.

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