The sound you just heard was the page torn from the calendar, indicating July has left the building and it is now the month of August. Listen closely as the school bells soon will peal, calling the young ones back to the classroom. The 2022-2023 school year is almost upon us.

With talk of COVID-19 still swirling and now monkeypox, anxious students and their parents must wonder what the new school year has in store for them.
Fairhaven Public Schools via Facebook

So far, there has been no discussion in the local area about mask mandates to begin the new school semester, and still no COVID vaccination requirement for returning students. Some districts do require teachers and staff to vaccinate against COVID.

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WWLP-22 Springfield reported that there is, however, a list of required vaccinations for most new and returning students to Massachusetts public schools.

Two-year-olds who attend a Massachusetts preschool program or child care must have begun a vaccination regimen against chicken pox, polio, Hepatitis B, MMR, DTap, and HIB.

Boston Doctor: New COVID Variants Could Bring Back Masks
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health last year "included the addition of new immunization requirements for a meningococcal vaccine for school entry." That requirement will be phased in beginning with the 2022-2023 school year.

Starting with the fall semester, "all students entering grades 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 will need the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, MenACWY for school entry. Students in grades 7 through 9 must have at least one dose. Students in grades 11 and 12 must have two doses."

I've included links to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website and to the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for an explanation of the vaccine requirements and a discussion about meningococcal diseases.

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