Saturday, September 30, 2023

What Vaccines Are Required For School In Virginia

Important Information For Parents

Virginia High students receive COVID-19 vaccines during school clinic event
  • Please call for a appointment
  • Parents should bring the child’s immunization record and insurance card to the clinic. If your immunization records are not in English, please seek the assistance of an appropriate translator to translate your record. Without an immunization record in English, your child may need to restart his or her immunization series. How do I find my child’s immunization record?

Virginia Isnt Requiring Teacher Vaccines But The Federal Government Could Do It Soon

President Joe Biden this week released a plan that could pave the way for an emergency rule requiring K-12 educators to get COVID-19 vaccines in states like Virginia which have not made them mandatory.

So far, Gov. Ralph Northam has left the decision to individual school districts, some of which have recently resisted public health guidelines such as requiring masks in schools.

None in Hampton Roads have approved vaccine mandates for teachers and staff. By contrast, school districts in Richmond and other cities north of Tidewater have required vaccinations for teachers.

Outside Virginia, a handful of states including California, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey along with Washington, D.C. have decided to require teachers to get the vaccine or undergo weekly testing, according to the news site EducationWeek. At least nine others have prohibited school districts from requiring the vaccine, the site reported.

When asked Thursday about Bidens plan and whether Northam intends to issue a mandate for educators and other school staff, spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky wrote in an email to The Virginian-Pilot that educators are employed by locally-elected school boards. Northam announced a vaccine requirement for state employees in August while encouraging other government officials, including local school board members, to do the same thing.

A growing number of governments, universities and other institutions, including here in Hampton Roads, have decided to require vaccines.

Virginia Plans To Vaccinate Children Against Covid

Arlington County Public Schools Superintendent Francisco Durán speaks during Gov. Ralph Northam’s news conference Monday afternoon in Richmond.

Virginia is preparing to vaccinate children against COVID-19 in schools as soon as the Pfizer shot is approved for those between ages 5 and 11, Gov. Ralph Northam said Monday.

Northam said during a news conference that the state Department of Health is working with local school divisions and superintendents to roll out the vaccines as soon as they are available and that administering shots in schools would be equitable and efficient. The Pfizer vaccine is expected to be approved for children ages 5-11 in late October or early November.

“We want to make sure this is as easy on parents and children as possible,” Northam said, adding that no specifics are available yet.

Northam used a large portion of the news conference — his first on COVID-19 since early August — to castigate Virginians who have not yet been vaccinated. About 80% of Virginia adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine, Northam said, but those who have not been vaccinated are ensuring the virus will continue to spread and mutate.

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Virginia has declined about 10% over the past week but still remains more than double the level of a year ago – before vaccines were available.

These wildly different rates are a good reminder that we still have much work to do, he said.

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Virginia Beach Lawyer Suing Citys School Division Over Covid

A Virginia Beach lawyer is suing the citys public school district to halt a vaccine requirement the division announced in September.

In a complaint filed Tuesday in Virginia Beach Circuit Court, Jason Swango asked the court to grant a temporary injunction that would halt enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for athletes. The lawsuit claims the mandate was not intended to curb transmission of the virus and school officials did not have authority to implement the policy.

Swango, who is the president and CEO of the Virginia Beach-based Firm For Men, filed the complaint on behalf of his children who participate in the citys high school sports teams.

These authoritative bodies have issued this mandate without parental consultation, without parental comment, without the ability of parents to object, Palmer Hurst, Swangos attorney and an associate lawyer at his firm, said Thursday.

The lawsuit claims the policy is designed to force a vaccine on student-athletes or create an undue hardship on student-athletes who, along with their parents, decide to avoid a vaccine currently authorized an on emergency use basis. …

Because the dispute is under litigation, the school divisions legal counsel declined to comment.

Sondra Woodward, the divisions spokesperson, said in an email Thursday the school system put the testing protocol in place to keep athletes safe, in school and out of quarantine.

Hurst declined to comment when asked about claims against Spence.

Virginia Has Updated Its Immunization Requirements For The New School Year

PA Suspends School Vaccines Requirements For 2 Months

STATEWIDE Its not back-to-school season just yet, but parents are reminded to put vaccinations on their childs to-do list before the end of summer.

After all, its the law.

The 2020 Virginia General Assembly changed the list of required immunizations for children attending school and child care centers, according to a press release from the Virginia Department of Education . The list of necessary vaccinations was amended in order to stay in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

Read the full list of changes passed by the General Assembly here.

The Virginia Department of Health and VDOE have prepared a webpage to help parents stay up-to-date with the new vaccination requirements. The page also includes a back-to-school checklist to help parents as they prepare their children for another school year.

According to the press release, students will need to have received the following immunizations and booster shots in order to attend many educational settings:

These shots are necessary for students attending public and private schools, child care centers, nursery schools, family home day care centers, and developmental centers.

The COVID-19 vaccines are not included among required immunizations for the 2021-2022 school year.

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Virginia Adds To Its List Of School

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia added new vaccine requirements for students entering kindergarten, seventh grade and twelfth grade this fall. Students need these shots in order to attend class.

Kindergarteners must have two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine, while seventh graders must have their first dose of the meningococcal meningitis vaccine.

These are pretty hard requirements, we dont get a grace period on those, Charlottesville City Schools Interim Director of Student Services and Human Relations Beth Baptist said.

Students going into twelfth grade also must have their updated meningococcal vaccine.

If a student had their first shot, and many students have prior to age 16, they have to have a second one once theyre 16 and going into twelfth grade, Baptist said.

If students have not had this vaccine, then they only need one dose.

It is a requirement to have at least one prior to going into twelfth grade, Baptist said.

Twelfth graders also need an HPV vaccine, but parents can opt them out of this one.

Students can prove they have these vaccines, as well as past years requirements, with their record or through the VIST system. School nurses have access to this system.

We do encourage parents to go ahead and try to get all of these vaccines now that were five weeks away from the opening of school, Baptist said. If you wait till the last minute, while all the other schools are also trying to get them for the students, that will be harder.

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Vaccination: Side Effects And Adverse Events After Covid

Short term vaccine side effects fall into one of three categories:

1) Local reactions, at or near the injection site

Systemic reactions

Allergic reactions

This discussion addresses the local and systemic side effects. Although COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19 disease, you may have some short term local or systemic side effects from the vaccination, which are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19.

While we do not yet know all of the possible vaccine side effects, some vaccinated people have had local reactions such as pain or redness or tenderness at the injection site. In terms of systemic side effects, a small number of vaccine recipients have had transient symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, chills, fever, headache or other body aches for a few days. These local or systemic side effects do NOT mean that the vaccine has given you a COVID-19 infection. Rather, these expected side effects mean that the vaccine is causing your bodys immune system to react and create antibodies to fight off the virus that causes COVID-19 if you are exposed in the future.

A small number of vaccine recipients have experienced swollen lymph nodes. For the two mRNA vaccines, these expected side effects are more common in younger people than older people and with the two-dose vaccine series, they are more common after the 2nd dose than after the first dose.

To reduce pain and discomfort where you or your child got the shot:

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Latest Health & Medicine

Cromartie didnt want to comment on exact numbers for this school year without all of the Portsmouth divisions data collected yet, but he said in general, more children are adequately vaccinated compared to last year.

Vogt said VDH will monitor any gaps in immunization and work with school districts, health departments and other stakeholders to address the issue.

I certainly hope every year for the highest coverage rate that we can get, because I think Virginia, by and large, does very, very well, and has really really strong immunization rates, Vogt said. Were proud of that and we want to maintain that.

Mitchell of CHKD encouraged students to also receive this years flu vaccine, and the COVID-19 vaccine, if they are at least 12 years old. You can find information on where to receive a flu vaccine on the VDH website. Information on COVID vaccines is available at

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Virginia bill would increase required vaccines for state students

As debates abound over whether coronavirus vaccinations should be required in public schools, many experts point out that students already are required to receive several other routine vaccinations to attend childcare or classes in the United States.

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Vaccination: After Being Fully Vaccinated With Covid

At this time, CDC does not plan to update the definition of fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated means that a person has received two doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine OR the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine OR a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine AND that at least 14 days have passed since the last dose was received.

People who completed a COVID-19 vaccination series with any vaccine that has been do not need any additional doses with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, this list includes four additional COVID-19 vaccines, manufactured by AstraZeneca, the Serum Institute of India, Sinopharm/BIBP, and Sinovac.

PLEASE NOTE: Even if they meet this definition of fully vaccinated, people who have immune systems that are likely to be weakened because of a disease condition they have , because they are receiving a medication that intentionally suppresses the immune system , or because they were born with a condition associated with weaker immune systems should be aware that they may have a reduced immune response to COVID-19 vaccine and that they may NOT be fully protected against COVID-19. Such people should receive an additional vaccine dose and should also continue following all of the current COVID-19 prevention guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19 and should discuss their situation with their healthcare provider. Additional information for such people can be found here.

In addition, if youve been fully vaccinated::

Vaccination: After Receiving The First Dose Of A Two

That depends on which vaccine you are receiving. Although the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine only requires a single dose, the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna both require two doses. When you get your first dose of a two-dose series, your vaccine provider will let you know about the second dose and will either arrange an appointment or will help provide a way to remind you when its time to return for that second dose.

In addition, the CDCs v-safe software will provide a reminder about the needed 2nd dose. For instructions on how to register for v-safe, please click here.

Finally, remember that even if you have some mild side effects from the first vaccine dose of a two-dose series, it is very important to finish the vaccination series to be sure that you get complete protection against COVID-19.

The two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are recommended to be given three weeks apart and the two doses of Moderna vaccine four weeks apart. You should not get the second dose earlier. However, if that kind of appointment scheduling is not possible, the second dose for each vaccine may be scheduled as late as 6 weeks after the first dose.

Although there are currently limited data on how much protection from COVID-19 there is if vaccine doses are given more than six weeks apart, if the second dose has to be given more than six weeks after the first dose, the vaccine series does NOT need to be restarted.

Yes, at least temporarily postponed.

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The Agency Took No Action On A Petition To Require The Shots

By: Kate Masters– December 6, 2021 4:29 pm

An employee of Neighborhood Health, which provides primary care services through multiple health clinics in Fairfax County, administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a pediatric patient.

A petition to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for school employees and all eligible students failed this week when the Virginia Department of Health opted to take no action on the request.

In a decision posted Monday, the agency stated that it lacked the clear statutory authority to mandate the shots for employees. Under state law, the department does have the ability to add new vaccine requirements for students, but pointed out that federal health agencies have yet to add the COVID-19 vaccine to its childhood immunization schedule.

While recommended, its not yet been formally added, Dr. Laurie Forlano, VDHs deputy commissioner for population health, said in a phone call on Monday. And thats the big reason for our decision.

Barring federal action, the failed petition likely marks an end to efforts to require the vaccine in Virginia schools. Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin has publicly opposed mandating the shots, even while . The same views are largely held by the states Republican lawmakers, who now hold a majority in the House of Delegates.

Its hard to say, Forlano said. There could likely be some similarities between the two vaccines, but no one knows for sure.

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Virginia Students Lagged On Required Immunizations Last School Year


School districts across Hampton Roads saw a decline last year in the rate of students who received the required sequence of immunizations to be eligible for enrollment in a public school, according to state data.

The states rate of students who were adequately vaccinated meaning they got all doses of the vaccines required under state law was just over 88% last year, down from just over 96% in 2019, Virginia Department of Health data shows. Similar trends occurred nationwide.

The states number of under-vaccinated seventh-graders was 13 times higher last year, according to The Virginian-Pilots analysis of VDH data. The number of under-vaccinated students in some Hampton Roads school districts was between 17 to 20 times higher last year, and one districts number was about 70 times higher.

Schools report vaccination status of students to VDH at kindergarten and seventh-grade milestones through the departments Student Immunization Survey, which is collected at the beginning of each school year.

Vaccines are generally intended to prevent the spread of disease. Thats especially important in a classroom or school setting, where students can often be in close quarters, said Marshall Vogt, an epidemiologist with VDH.

I always tell people that these vaccines are safe and theyre effective, and they protect kids so that they can be in school, and so that they dont need to lose time for illness or because there are outbreaks, Vogt said.

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One Mother Is Asking The Agency To Implement New Requirements Through Regulatory Action

By: Kate Masters– October 11, 2021 3:39 pm

A petition to mandate coronavirus vaccines for all eligible students and staff in Virginia schools has accumulated nearly 6,000 comments online setting a record for the Virginia Department of Healths typically sleepy regulatory process.

The request was submitted last month as a public petition to the Virginia Board of Health. Under state law, any resident can ask an agency to craft new regulations, according to Joseph Hilbert, VDHs deputy commissioner for governmental and regulatory affairs.

But amid ongoing debates over requiring COVID-19 immunizations for students both in Virginia and across the country the public petition process presents a unique way for concerned parents to make their case. The Virginia Department of Health must consider the request, even as state leaders appear reluctant to broach the issue.

Gov. Ralph Northam has so far been hesitant to implement a statewide requirement, saying its a decision that would have to be passed by the General Assembly. James Lane, the states superintendent of public instruction, shares the same view. So far, California remains the only state to mandate the vaccines for all K-12 students, both in public and private schools.

Were in the process now of determining whether were going to grant this petition, Hilbert said. Honestly, we dont get a whole lot of them. And this one is a record-setter as far as the comments weve received.

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