Immunizations

Immunization Requirements

A healthy school setting gives all students the best chance to learn and grow. Vaccines are very important to this effort. They protect children from getting and spreading diseases that can make them very sick. For this reason, we require children aged 2-months to 18-years-old who are entering or attending child care, public school, or private school be vaccinated against certain diseases.

All students in child care through grade 12 must receive vaccinations for:

  • The DTaP (diphtheria- tetanus-pertussis),
  • Poliovirus,
  • MMR (measles-mumps-rubella),
  • Varicella, and
  • Hepatitis B. 

Children under age five who are enrolled in child care and pre-kindergarten (pre-K) must receive vaccinations for:

  • Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b),
  • PCV (pneumococcal conjugate), and
  • Influenza (flu).
    • Children must receive the flu vaccine by December 31, 2019. It is best to vaccinate your child as soon as the vaccine becomes available. It becomes available in early fall.

Children in grades 6–12 must also be vaccinated against:

  • The Tdap booster (by grade 6), and
  • MenACWY (meningococcal conjugate) (by grade 7).

The number of vaccine doses your child needs may vary. It depends on:

  • age,
  • grade,
  • medical history, and
  • if they have gotten vaccine doses before.

Talk to your child’s health care provider for more information.

View a chart that shows the vaccines your child needs to start each school year. The chart is organized by grade and age:

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The chart is also available in simplified Chinese and Yiddish:

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Immunization Compliance

Why Your Child Needs to be Vaccinated

New York State Public Health Law requires students to get certain vaccines in order to attend child care or school. Vaccines prevent your child from getting infections in school and from spreading diseases to other children.

For this reason, your child will not be allowed to go to school if they have not received the required vaccines for the school year.

What Happens if your Child is Missing Required Vaccines

Your child’s school will notify you if they are missing any required vaccines. The notice will tell you how many days you have to get your child vaccinated. If your child is not vaccinated before the final day, they will be excluded from attending school.

You should bring the notice to child’s health care provider to have your child vaccinated.

To allow your child to return to school, show your child’s school a vaccine record proving that they have received the required vaccines.

Exemptions

If your child is not yet immunized against all required diseases, there are a few situations in which they may still be allowed to attend school.

In Process

Some vaccine doses need to be taken at specific time intervals. For example, your child may be given a vaccine and told to wait one month before receiving a second vaccine. Your child will still be allowed to attend school during the waiting period if:

  • your child has received the first dose of each school-required vaccine, and
  • you are told by a medical provider to wait for the follow-up doses.

Medical Exemptions

Vaccines are proven to be very safe. Read more about vaccine safety. However, if your child has a specific health condition where a vaccine may be harmful, have your child’s doctor fill out this medical exemption form.

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  • The form must be filled out by a New York State-licensed medical doctor (MD) or osteopathic doctor (DO). A form completed by a nurse practitioner (NP) or physician assistant (PA) will not be accepted.
  • Bring the completed form to your school.
    • The form will be reviewed, and we will let you know if the request has been approved.
    • Your child will be allowed to attend school during the approval process.
  • Requests must be reapproved each year.

No religious exemptions

As of June 13, 2019, NY State no longer allows religious exemptions from mandated vaccinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I go to get my child vaccinated?

We suggest that students receive their vaccines from their health care provider. If this is not possible, the Department of Health has one walk-in immunization clinic. Learn more about Department of Health Immunization Clinics.

How will my school know my child is vaccinated?

There are a few ways that parents can give schools their child’s vaccine record. You can give your school any one of the following:

  • a New Admission Exam form (CH-205) completed by a doctor or nurse practitioner; or
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School is about to start, but my child hasn’t had all of his/her vaccines yet. What do I do?

If your child does not have all required vaccines, they may be able to start school with the first or first few dose(s) of the required vaccines. They must then receive the remaining doses based on an official schedule. Talk to your health care provider about when your child should come in to receive the remaining doses.

My child has already had chickenpox. Do they still need to get the chickenpox vaccine?

Most children who have had chickenpox are immune to the disease for the rest of their lives. If your child has already had chickenpox, they are unlikely to get it a second time. For this reason, proof of chickenpox will satisfy the chickenpox vaccine requirement. You must have a diagnosis from a health care provider—parent history will not be accepted. Your child’s health care provider may need to take a blood test to confirm that your child had chickenpox.

Ask your child’s health care provider to fill out the Review of Serology or Documentation of Varicella Disease form. Bring the completed form to your school. Your school will review the form, and let you know if the request has been approved. Your child will be allowed to attend school during the approval process. If your child is approved, they will still need to receive all other required vaccinations.

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My child took a blood test and is immune to Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, Hepatitis B, or Poliovirus. Do they still need to get that vaccine?

If you think your child may be immune to measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, hepatitis B, and/or poliovirus, your child can take a blood test to check for immunity. Bring your child to a health care provider to take the blood test. If the blood test shows your child is immune to any of the diseases listed above, your child does not need to get a vaccine for that particular disease.

Your child must be immune to all three poliovirus types: 1, 2, and 3. Testing for type 2 became unavailable in early 2017. If you only have proof of immunity to types 1 and 3, talk to your child’s health care provider about getting a polio vaccine.

To apply to show immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, hepatitis b, or poliovirus, have your health care provider fill out a Review of Serology, or Documentation of Varicella Disease form. Bring the completed form to your school. Your school will review the form, and let you know if the request has been approved. Your child will be allowed to attend school during the approval process. Note that if your child is approved for a specific disease, they will still need to receive all other school required vaccinations.

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What happens if there is a disease outbreak or exposure in school and my child has not received the vaccination for that disease?

Your child may be excluded from school for at least one incubation period after the last student at school has caught the disease. An incubation period is the time between an infection and when the signs and symptoms of the disease start to appear.

For example: a student at your child’s school gets the measles. If your child has not received a measles vaccine, they will be excluded from school during the outbreak or exposure, and for 21 days after the start of the last measles case at school.

What is the Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR)?

The CIR is a filing system that keeps records of people vaccinated in New York City. The CIR holds vaccine records of children who are 18 and younger, and consenting adults who are 19 and older.

  • Check your child’s vaccine record online if you have a New York City ID (IDNYC).
  • If you do not have an IDNYC, mail or fax this Immunization Record Request with a copy of a valid photo ID.
  • If you have any questions, call CIR at 347-396-2400.

You can show the CIR Record to your child’s school to prove that they have met school vaccine requirements.

Do I have to do anything else before my child starts school?

Yes! There are a few other things you should do before your child starts school.

  • Is your child starting school for the first time?
    • Take your child to a health care provider to get a physical examination. Bring the physical examination form (CH-205) to the visit.
    • All students entering New York City public or private schools or child care (including universal pre-K classes) for the first time should submit the physical examination form by May 31, 2019. 
  • Does your child have a chronic condition?
    • The medication administration form (MAF) allows your child to take prescribed medicine at school. Find out how your child can benefit from a MAF.
      • While medication administration forms are accepted on a rolling basis, we encourage you to submit them by May 31, 2019.
      • This makes sure there's no break in access to your child's medication.
  • Keep your child healthy at school. Have them take part in your school’s free allergy programs, asthma programs, diabetes programs, or other health services for their condition.

Find Out More

Information for Providers

Please review Immunization Requirements for Child Care and New School Entrants.

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