The Baltimore Sun is reporting that Maryland is proposing revised vaccination regulations that would require incoming kindergartners to receive a chicken pox booster vaccination (varicella vaccine). It is also requiring seventh graders to get a booster against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, (DTaP vaccine). In addition, Maryland also wants to include a vaccine against Meningococcus, a bacterium that causes meningitis, meningococcemia, septicemia, and rarely carditis, septic arthritis, or pneumonia. The state also wants to increase the requirement for the number of MMR vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella.
If the proposed changes go into effect, Maryland would be aligned with standards recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. To this date, 36 states have adopted such standards. The new guidelines, if adopted, would to into effect in 2014.
According to David Bundy, an assistant professor of pediatrics and childhood adolescence at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center,
The recommendations for these immunizations are not new nationally, this is just updating the state’s requirement to reflect the existing recommendations. It just makes us all look like we’re in alignment with what we’re doing, and it tightens the safety net at schools for kids who may be missing vaccines.
I’m sure the anti-vaccine crowd will be complaining soon.
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