Letter to Secondary Residential Schools
August 6, 2003
On July 22, 2003, Governor Pataki signed New York State Public Health Law (NYS PHL) §2167 requiring secondary residential schools to distribute information about meningococcal meningitis (also called meningococcal disease) and vaccination to parents or guardians of students in grades 7 — 12. This law becomes effective on August 15, 2003 (prior to the Fall 2003 semester), at which time your school will be required to maintain a record of the following for each student:
- A response to receipt of meningococcal disease and vaccine information signed by the student’s parent or guardian (or the student if he/she is 18 years of age or older). This must include information on the availability and cost of meningococcal meningitis vaccine (Menomune™);
- A record of meningococcal meningitis immunization within the past 10 years; OR
- An acknowledgement of meningococcal disease risks and refusal of meningococcal meningitis immunization signed by the student’s parent or guardian (or the student if he/she is 18 years of age or older).
Due to the rapid implementation of NYS PHL §2167, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is providing sample materials that can be adapted for your school’s use, including a sample letter to parents, vaccination response form, immunization record, and meningococcal disease and vaccine information sheet. The Sample Residential School Meningococcal Meningitis Vaccination Response Form, which is available on the NYSDOH web site at http://www.health.state.ny.us/prevention/immunization/index.htm, should be used when documenting receipt of meningococcal disease information and immunization status.
At a minimum, your school must provide students and/or parents of minor students information on meningococcal disease and its transmission, and the benefits, risks and effectiveness of immunization. This information is included in the NYSDOH Meningococcal Disease Fact Sheet, Information for College Students and Parents of Children at Residential Schools and Overnight Camps (enclosed). In addition, each institution must provide information on the availability and cost of immunization, including an indication of whether or not the institution offers meningococcal meningitis immunization services. If your school does not offer the meningococcal meningitis vaccine, students should be referred to their private health care provider. An additional list of meningococcal meningitis vaccine providers may be found on the National Meningitis Association (NMA) web site http://www.nmaus.org.
If your school chooses NOT to use the Sample Residential School Meningococcal Vaccination Response Form, Sample Parent Letter, and/or the NYSDOH Meningococcal Disease Fact Sheet, then your school’s materials MUST be forwarded for prior approval to:New York State Department of Health Immunization Program
Room 649, Corning Tower
Albany, NY 12237
FAX (518) 474-1495
The enclosed information should assist you in implementing this new Public Health Law. If you have any questions regarding the new meningococcal meningitis requirements, please contact your NYSDOH Immunization Program regional office representative at the following telephone numbers:
|Capital District Region||(518) 408-5300|
|Western Region (Buffalo)||(716) 847-4385|
|Rochester Field Office||(585) 423-8074|
|Central Region (Syracuse)||(315) 477-8164|
|Metropolitan Region (Lower Hudson Valley)||(914) 654-7194|
|Long Island Field Office||(631) 851-3081|
|New York City (5 boroughs)||(212) 676-2259|
I appreciate your assistance as we implement this important new legislation.
Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr. P.H.
Commissioner of Health
cc: New York State Department of Education
Local Health Departments