IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOLTop of Page

Please visit www.shotsforschool.org for the most up to date information about immunizations for school.

Starting July 1st, 2019 - Students Admitted at TK/K-12th Grade Need:

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP, DTP, Tdap, or Td) — 5 doses
4 doses OK if one was given on or after 4th birthday.
3 doses OK if one was given on or after 7th birthday. 
For 7th-12th graders, at least 1 dose of pertussis-containing vaccine is required on or after 7th birthday. 
 
Polio (OPV or IPV) — 4 doses
3 doses OK if one was given on or after 4th birthday. 
 
Hepatitis B — 3 doses
Not required for 7th grade entry. 
 
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) — 2 doses 
Both given on or after 1st birthday. 
 
Varicella (Chickenpox) — 2 doses 
 
These immunization requirements also apply to students enrolling in transitional kindergarten and kindergarten for the 2019/2020 school year. 
 
California schools are required to check immunization records for all new student admissions at TK/Kindergarten through 12th grade and all students advancing to 7th grade before entry. Parents must show their student's immunization record as proof of immunization. 
 
 Resources

General Immunization Information

SB 277 (Regarding Personal Belief Exemptions) Effective January 2016

Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 277 on June 30, 2015. As of 2016, SB 277: 

  • No longer permits immunization exemptions based on personal beliefs for children in child care and public and private schools;

  • Permits personal belief exemptions submitted before January 1, 2016 to remain valid until a pupil reaches kindergarten or 7th grade;

  • These immunization are not required for:

    •  Students in home-based private schools

    • Students enrolled in an independent study program who do not receive classroom-based instruction

    • Access to special education and related services specified in an individualized education program

    • Students in the above categories will still need to provide immunization records to their schools before entry, and schools will still need to report to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) the immunization status of all students at the existing checkpoints of child care, kindergarten and 7th grade.

Exemptions Permitted by California Law

Medical Exemption:  A licensed physician (MD or DO) who feels a vaccine is not indicated for a student because of medical reasons should submit to the school (via the patient’s family as needed) a written statement documenting the medical exemption. The school will place a copy of the completed statement in the student’s file. 

Written elements needed for a valid medical exemption are as follows:

 For admissions on or after July 1, 2019 (including incoming TK/K students for Fall 2019):
Starting July 1, 2019, a parent or guardian must submit a signed, written statement from a physician (MD or DO) licensed in California which states:
  • The specific nature of the physical condition or medical circumstance of the child for which a licensed physician does not recommend immunization.
  • Each specific required vaccine that is being exempted.
  • Whether the medical exemption is permanent or temporary.
  • If the exemption is temporary, an expiration date no more than 12 calendar months from the date of signing
Upcoming Changes to Medical Exemption Laws
 
Effective January 1, 2020:
  • A child who has submitted a medical exemption before January 1, 2020, may continue to enroll in school until the child enrolls in the next "grade span." Grade spans are: (1) birth to preschool; (2) kindergarten to grade 6, and (3) grades 7 to 12.
  • When a child completes one grade span and seeks to enroll in the next, parents must submit a new medical exemption that complies with the requirements below.
Effective January 1, 2021:
  • Schools may no longer accept any type of written statement from a licensed physician. Instead, physicians must complete a standardized exemption form that contains specified information, and they must submit those forms electronically, both to the school and also the California Immunization Registry. Unless a standardized medical exemption form is on file, schools may not admit students who are not fully immunized on the basis of a medical exemption.
  • Exemptions based on temporary medical conditions will continue to be valid for only one year. Exemptions based on permanent medical conditions will be valid for only one grade span. When a child with a permanent medical condition completes one grade span and seeks to enroll in the next, physicians must complete a new exemption form.
  • The California Department of Public Health will create a monitoring system that includes review of schools whose overall immunization rates are less than 95 percent; schools that do not provide annual reports of vaccination rates; and physicians who submit more than five medical exemptions in one year, starting January 1, 2020.

Exemptions to immunization should not be taken because of convenience. Un-immunized students are at greater risk of contracting diseases and spreading them to their families, schools and communities. Schools will maintain an up-to-date list of students with exemptions, so that these students can be excluded from school quickly if an outbreak occurs.