Meningococcal, Hep A vaccines to be required for 2019-20 school year in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Meningococcal and Hepatitis vaccines will be required for the 2019-20 school year.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment proposed changes to the vaccine requirement regulations earlier this year and held a public hearing concluding a 60-day public comment period in June. The regulations were approved by KDHE and will go into effect on August 2.

“We received many comments and input from all viewpoints,” KDHE Secretary Lee Norman said. “We listened and read all of the input and concerns submitted to us. We looked at the evidence. Both Meningitis and Hepatitis A illnesses are severe and preventable, and the safety profile of the vaccines is well-recognized. As an agency charged to establish policies that protect and improve the lives of Kansans, we felt the addition of the two vaccines was essential for the health and safety of our state.”

The Sedgwick County Health Department (2716 W. Central) will have both required vaccines.

Changes for 2019-20 School Year

• Students entering Kindergarten and Grade 1 for the 2019 -2020 school year now need two doses of the
hepatitis A vaccine.

• Students entering Grade 7 for the 2019-2020 school year need one dose of the meningococcal ACWY
vaccine.

• Students entering Grade 11 need one dose of the meningococcal ACWY vaccine if not vaccinated prior to
their 16th birthday. They will need two doses if their first dose was before their 16th birthday.
Vaccine requirements for schools can be found online at: http://www.kdheks.gov/immunize/schoolInfo.htm.

In accordance with KSA 72-6262, legal alternatives to vaccination requirements include medical contraindications and religious beliefs. The medical exemptions signed by a medical clinician must be submitted on an annual basis by the family/guardian of the student. There could also be instances in which a person has a religious belief that prevents them from receiving a particular vaccination. The parent/guardian of the student must submit a written statement indicating they are adherent of a religious denomination whose religious teachings are opposed to such vaccination.