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State may require more school-age vaccinations

The Minnesota Department of Health is proposing to change the state's school immunization rules and bring the law up to date with current recommendations and practices. The proposed changes to immunization requirements for children in child care and grades pre-K-12 would:

•Require hepatitis A and B vaccination for children enrolling in child care or school-based early childhood programs.

•Replace the current seventh- grade tetanus-diphtheria requirement with a vaccine that also includes pertussis.

•Require secondary students to have meningococcal vaccination beginning in seventh grade.

If approved, the proposed changes would take effect beginning in September 2014. They would not change the medical exemption or the option for parents to decline any or all vaccines for conscientious reasons.

The department plans to adopt the changes through its rulemaking authority without a public hearing. If, however, 25 or more people submit a written request for a hearing on the rules by 4:30 p.m. Friday May 31, the department will hold a hearing.

Information on how to request a hearing or comment on the rules can be found at: