ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The COVID vaccines, mandates for state and health workers along with the potential for a more universal mandate that includes children are on the minds of many. It’s common for vaccines to become part of childhood vaccination schedules as scientific research progresses.
When and what was the last childhood vaccine to become mandated in the state? It may surprise people to learn it’s been a short five years since New York made a vaccine mandatory for school-aged kids.
Childhood vaccines for polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and DTaP (Diptheria, tetanus, pertussis) have been mandated by states, including New York, for decades. Other vaccines like Hepatitis B, Varicella (chickenpox), and MenACWY (meningococcal) were mandated more recently.
The most recently mandated vaccine for school-aged children in New York is the MenACWY immunization. As of September 1, 2016 students entering 7th or 12 grade had to get the MenACWY vaccine, according to the New York State Department of Health (DOH).
Mandatory childhood vaccines vary by state. At the time, DOH said the state was the 28th to mandate the MenACWY vaccine. Now it’s mandated by 35 states, according to the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC). Virginia was the last to mandate the vaccine beginning in 2021 for 7th and 12th graders, according to IAC.
The MenACWY vaccine protects against meningococcal disease (types A, C, W, and Y). The disease is rare but can cause an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord as well as sepsis (blood infections).
MenACWY was recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for kids between the ages of 11-12 in May 2005, according to thehistoryofvaccines.org, a website maintained by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
There were three states that made the MenACWY vaccine mandated just three years after it was recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices: Arizona, New Jersey, and Vermont, according to thehistoryofvaccines.org.