ND Department of Health announces vaccine changes

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Starting Jan. 1, vaccine requirements for infants and high school students will change.

The North Dakota Department of Health says the hepatitis B vaccine will be required for all children attending child care in the state.

Starting in the 2018 school year, seventh through 12th grade students will also need a Tdap vaccine, which prevents whooping cough.

The biggest change is adding a second dose of the meningitis vaccine for 11th- and 12th-graders.

“We really want those kids to be protected against the meningococcal at 16 rather than waiting until they go to college. We just want them to be protected right away,” said immunization surveillance coordinator Lexie Barber.

Beginning next school year schools are required to exclude children not compliant with school immunization requirements by Oct. 1. The previous rule said children must be excluded from school if they are not compliant with school-required immunizations within 30 days of enrollment.