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Superintendent’s Memo #101-19

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

DATE: April 26, 2019
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: James F. Lane, Ed.D., Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Tdap immunization requirements for entry into seventh grade.


In April 2018, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) changed the minimum recommended age for the tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) adolescent booster vaccine from 10 to 11 years. As a result, a routine adolescent booster dose of Tdap should not be administered to students younger than 11 years of age.

To align with current ACIP recommendations, the 2019 General Assembly passed HB 2215 that changes the grade in which students receive Tdap vaccine from sixth to seventh grade. Students who received a Tdap immunization at age ten will not need another Tdap vaccine to enter seventh grade.

This legislation becomes effective July 1, 2019, and amends the Code of Virginia § 32.1-46.A.4 so that it will require: “A minimum of three or more properly spaced doses of acellular pertussis vaccine. One dose shall be administered on or after the fourth birthday. A booster dose shall be administered prior to entry into the seventh grade.”
To assist schools with this effort, the Virginia Department of Health has created a list of frequently asked questions to address any concerns parents or school staff may have. Please distribute this letter and attachment to parents of rising sixth-grade students.
Questions should be directed to Marshall Vogt, Epidemiologist, Virginia Department of Health, by telephone at (804) 864-8076, or email at Marshall.Vogt@vdh.virginia.gov, or Tracy White, School Health Specialist, Virginia Department of Education, by telephone at (804) 786-8671, or email at Tracy.White@doe.virginia.gov.

JFL/TLW/rge




 

Tdap boosters can be obtained from your doctor, military clinics or the health department. Written documentation should be provided to Rosa Parks Elementary School before the final day of school in June. The summer months become very busy in doctor's offices so it is best to get the vaccine as soon as the child turns 11 years old. Documentation must be provided before a student can participate fully in the first day of Middle School for 7th grade.