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Virginia to require 4 new vaccines for students returning to school

Children and teenagers in daycare facilities through 12th grade will now be required to vaccinate against rotavirus, hepatitis A, meningitis and HPV, but not COVID.

VIRGINIA, USA — Students in Virginia are not yet required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but a new law that went into effect on July 1 will require students to receive four additional vaccines. 

According to the Virginia Department of Education, students in daycare facilities through 12th grade must now be inoculated against rotavirus, hepatitis A, meningitis and human papillomavirus (HPV) for the upcoming school year, regardless of whether the student attends a public or private institution. 

Here's a timeline of when children and teenagers should receive the now-mandated vaccines: 

Rotavirus

This vaccine is only required for children under the age of eight months. It is administered in two to three doses, depending on the manufacturer of the vaccine. 

Hepatitis A

A minimum of two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine are now required; the first dose should be administered once or after the child has turned 1-year-old. Note that the hepatitis B vaccine is also required for students but is not a substitution for the hepatitis A vaccine. 

Meningitis

Students are required to be vaccinated with the first dose of the meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine prior to entering the seventh grade. The second dose must be administered prior to entering 12th grade. 

HPV

Historically reserved for females, all students regardless of biological sex will now be required to receive two doses of the HPV vaccine, the first of which must be administered before entering seventh grade. However, a previous Virginia statute specific to the HPV vaccine still applies and allows for parents or guardians to opt-out of vaccinating their child --after professional consultation --as HPV is not transmissible in a school setting. 

To see a detailed list and recommended vaccine schedule for students, visit this page from the Virginia Department of Health.

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