May 12, 2021

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Students must have up-to-date vaccinations by August

Just over a month before the new school semester begins, the Department of Health emphasized the vaccines that each student must have up-to-date, to be protected against serious diseases, as provided in the Immunization Act. [19659002] “Vaccines on time… protect everyone. Under this motto, and according to the Law approved on September 25, 1983, all students, according to their age, who enroll in any educational institution in the country, public or private, must have their vaccines administered. This includes, from day care centers to universities ”, Dr. Iris Cardona, undersecretary of the agency and vaccination expert, said in writing, after stressing the importance of complying with the vaccination schedule, independently of whether the classes will be offered in person or not.

Cardona explained that elementary, middle and high school students must meet the minimum requirements for doses of vaccine against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Whooping, Polio, Haemophilus Influenzae type B (Hib), Hepatitis B, Common measles, German measles, Mumps, Chickenpox and Pneumococcus according to their age.

“Every adolescent from 11 to 18 years of age must comply with a dose of the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. Those 11 years of age should have one dose of the conjugated vaccine against Meningococcus (MCV4) and a second dose of it at 16 years of age. Also, they will need at least the first dose of the vaccine against the human papilloma virus, that adolescent of 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 years of age and complete the series as recommended in the Vaccination Itinerary ", the also pediatrician pointed out, noting that due to the CVID-19 pandemic, routine vaccinations are of greater importance.

She added that, in the case of new university students, under 21 years of age, they were will require reinforcements against on Tetanus, Diphtheria and Whooping Cough (Tdap) and / or against Tetanus and Diphtheria (Td) as the case may be, Common Measles, German Measles and Mumps, Hepatitis B and Polio.

"Vaccines have to be seen as a very serious matter. They must be registered on Form P-VAC-3, which everyone knows as the green paper, "Cardona added.

On the other hand, regarding exemptions to vaccinate for religious and medical reasons indicated that they have to be delivered to the educational institution to be enrolled. An affidavit requesting religious exemption shall indicate the religion or sect and be signed by the parent or legal guardian and by the minister of religion. A certification requesting a medical exemption must be signed by a physician authorized to practice the profession in Puerto Rico and must indicate the specific reason and the possible duration of the contraindicated conditions or circumstances of one or more of the required vaccinations.

“In addition, I remind parents how important it is to vaccinate their children against influenza for the 2020-2021 season. Vaccination against influenza is the best method to prevent this infection and its complications. We cannot let our guard down, "said the public official.

Finally, he announced that due to the current situation facing the Immunization Registry -PRIR-, which has not been resolved at the time, those parents who need the Certificate of Vaccines -P-VAC3 or green paper- should contact their vaccination service provider.

At the time of the request you will be required personal information such as name and surname, date of birth, name and surname of the mother, number Telephone number, town of residence and the name and town of your vaccine supplier.

“With this information, the vaccination file will be searched and, if complete, the Certificate will be issued. In turn, the Department of Education has been asked to return the Certificate of Vaccines both to students who completed their 4th year of high school, and to those who transfer to another educational institution, "he concluded.

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