Maryland Schools Can Request Extension for Vaccine Deadline

Maryland schools struggling to meet new vaccination deadlines have gotten a break.

Late Friday, the state said that any school district that has more than 250 students who have not yet proven that they have received two newly-required shots can ask for an extension.

The districts must request the 45-day extension by next Friday.

According to the new requirements announced this year, all 7th-grade students must have a Tdap (Tetanus-diphtheria-attenuated pertussis) vaccination and a meningococcal (MCV4) vaccination.

The deadline for getting those shots was Friday in most Maryland districts, including Montgomery County. That means without an extension, students who hadn't gotten the shots would be kept out of school Monday.

As of Friday morning in Montgomery County, 1,400 out of the school district's 11,076 students still hadn't gotten their vaccines. That's down from the 2,000 to 3,000 students who hadn't gotten them three days earlier.

In Frederick County, more than 500 7th graders, out of 3,013, hadn't yet complied with the immunization requirement by Friday morning.

Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Ulder Tillman said the vaccines are for everyone's health and safety.

Free immunization clinics offered the shots three evenings this past week at several Montgomery County middle schools. On Friday, Mary Anderson, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County health department said the county will continue immunization clinics next week.

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