February 3, 2017
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education revised the Maine School Immunization Requirements rule on December 20, 2016. The changes further align Maine’s immunization rules with current national recommendations to better protect the health of all Maine people. The following two changes were made:
1. If you have a student enrolled at WES, WJHS, WHS without documented chicken pox vaccination or history of disease.
Effective immediately, the exclusion period for varicella disease (chicken pox) has increased from 16 days to 21 days. This means that any child who has not provided proof of immunization or history of disease will be unable to attend school or any school related activity in the event of an active varicella breakout for 21 days. This time period will be extended if any further chicken pox cases occur after the first. The law requires a 21 day exclusion period after the LAST case.
2. If you have a student entering 7th grade September 2017 at WJHS
2. Effective for the 2017-2018 school year, all students entering, advancing, or transferring into seventh (7th) grade will need to receive one dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine before attendance is allowed. This requirement is for 7th grade students only; grades 8-12 are not included in this rule change.
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a very contagious respiratory disease that can be severe and last for months. The immunity received from either early childhood immunization or pertussis disease wears off over time, leaving older students and adults susceptible to pertussis. Immunization with Tdap can protect students, schools and communities against whooping cough.
You can find a link to the rule (Chapter 126 / 261) here:
We are providing you with this information now so that you have ample time to schedule an appointment prior to the first day of the 2017-2018 school year.
Please find the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on this new school immunization requirement at the bottom of this web page.
If you have any questions, please contact Pat Endsley RN WHS Nurse 641-6967 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further questions, please contact the Maine Immunization Program at (207) 287-3746 or (800) 867-4775 or by email at ImmunizeME.DHHS@maine.gov.
Just a reminder, any student who needs to carry an epinephrine pen or asthma inhaler for any reason needs to have the appropriate form filled out by primary medical provider and parent or guardian. The Asthma and allergy plans can be downloaded from the "Forms" page.
All medications during the school day need to administered by the school nurse. The medication permission form may also be found on the "Forms" page as well.
I am happy to fax any of the forms to the student's medical office after it is filled out and signed by the parent or guardian.
Best wishes for a safe and happy school year!
Pat Endsley MSN, RN NCSN
Epinephrine Auto-Injector Options
School nurses advocate for equity in access to care for all students. As the new school year unfolds, students and families want to know how to access lifesaving medication in the event of anaphylaxis. NASN requested information for school nurses to provide to families. The information below is current as of August 29, 2016.
Options for Access to Epinephrine Auto-Injectors
Generic/Branded Epinephrine Auto-injector - www.adrenaclick.com
For the Uninsured & Underinsured: Patient assistance program
For patients without insurance, Mylan is doubling the income eligibility of its patient assistance program to broaden the scope of patients who qualify for the program.
- The program has also expanded to cover under insured patients whose pharmacy coverage is limited to generics.
- Qualifying patients will receive the product at no cost.
For the Insured: My EpiPen Savings Card™
- For patients with commercial insurance, Mylan is increasing the My EpiPen Savings Card™ to now cover up to $300 for each EpiPen 2-Pak® carton per prescription, up to six EpiPen 2-Pak® or EpiPen Jr 2-Pak® cartons.
- This offer is active on EpiPen.com and through coupon cards available in many healthcare professionals’ offices. (The $100 coupon cards convert to $300 at the pharmacy)
Donna Mazyck MS, BSN, RN, NCSN
National Association of School Nurses
Silver Spring, MD
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