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New immunization requirements approved

Changes to immunization requirements for children in Minnesota child care, early childhood programs and schools will better protect children and communities from a number of potentially serious diseases, according to state health officials.

The new rules adopted by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will apply to children enrolling in programs beginning September 1, 2014, and bring Minnesota’s immunizations law in line with current national recommendations and practices.

Among the biggest changes, the new rules for children in child care and grades pre-K-12 now call for: Hepatitis A and B vaccination for children enrolling in child care or early childhood programs.

Replacement of the current 7th grade tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccination with one that also includes pertussis (Tdap).

Meningococcal vaccination for secondary students, beginning in 7th grade.

The new rules do not change the medical exemption or the option for parents to decline any or all vaccines for conscientious reasons.

Some additional changes to the school and child care immunization rules make modifications in the timing of certain doses of required vaccines to match current medically acceptable standards and put early childhood programs that meet regularly for six weeks or more under the immunization rule.

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