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N.D. changes vaccine requirement from ‘middle school’ to seventh grade

BISMARCK -- Two vaccines that were required for North Dakota students entering “middle school” will now be required for students starting the seventh grade, the North Dakota Department of Health announced Thursday.

Amy Schwartz, the department’s immunization surveillance coordinator, explained in a news release that middle school means different grades in different communities, and students weren’t receiving the same vaccines at the same times.

She said the change was made to standardize immunization requirements and hopefully make it simpler for parents to remember.

To enter the seventh grade, students must now receive the Tdap vaccine -- short for tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis -- and the MCV4 vaccine for meningococcal disease, in addition to previously required immunizations.

The Health Department urged parents to check with their child’s healthcare provider or local public health unit to make sure their immunizations are up-to-date well before school starts next fall.

A complete list of school immunization requirements and recommendations is available at

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