The South Dakota Department of Health revised its administrative rules and now requires both the Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) and MCV4 (Meningococcal ACYW) vaccines for 6th grade students beginning with the 2016-17 school year.
Vaccine requirements for kindergarten entry have been in place for many years, but this will be the first such requirement for middle school entry in South Dakota. The change is a direct result of Senate Bill 28, which was passed by the 2016 South Dakota Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Daugaard. SB 28 adds meningococcal infection to the list of diseases specified in South Dakota Codified Law 13-28-7.1 for which DOH can require vaccination for school entry in South Dakota.
With the change, school entry requirements for South Dakota 6th grade students include:
One dose of Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis)
One dose of MCV4 vaccine (meningococcal ACYW)
The requirements applies only for 6th grade entry as well as transfer students in grades 6-12. If a child is 10 years old when entering the 6th grade, they have 45 days after their 11th birthday to be vaccinated.
While only Tdap and MCV4 are being added as middle school requirements, parents are encouraged to talk with their provider about immunizing their child with other recommended vaccines. Additionally the ACIP also recommends that adolescents receive a second dose of MCV4 at age 16.
For more information, talk with your family physician or local community health nurse. You may also contact the South Dakota Department of Health, Immunization Program, at 1-800-592-1861.