Published July 2024

Back to School Check List: Immunizations

August is Immunization Awareness Month, and it is a time that parents are getting their children ready to go back to school.

Some parents may have concerns that vaccines have harmful side effects. As you educate and discuss immunization needs with the parents/child it's important to remind them that in New York State (NYS) and Vermont, certain vaccines are mandatory for acceptance into day care, and pre-K–12th grade.

Parents must show proof of a child’s up to date immunizations within 14 days of the first day of school or day care. The only exemption from vaccinations in NYS is a valid medical exemption. To obtain a valid medical exemption in NYS, the NYS Department of Health (DOH) Bureau of Immunization/Division of Epidemiology requires the ‘Immunization Requirements for School Attendance Medical Exemption Statement for Children 0-18 Years of Age’ form. (This form is number DOH-5077 and can be viewed here. A NYS licensed physician must complete the medical exemption statement.)

In Vermont, exemptions from vaccination requirements are allowed for religious or medical reasons. The medical immunization exempt form is available by visiting here and selecting Immunizations, then Immunization Information for Child Care and School Providers. The form must be completed by the child’s health care Provider.

Back-to-School Vaccine Check List
Age Group Vaccines Required
< Four
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate (HiB)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Pneumococcal
Four to Six
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP)
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Polio
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)
  • Meningococcal disease (MCV4)
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) 
  • MCV4 booster

Recommended Vaccines for Children and Adolescents:

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) – Initial dose of the HPV vaccine once they turn nine years old
  • Flu – Children (over six months old) should get their flu shot each year
  • COVID-19 – The CDC recommends children (over six months old) get their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and receive a booster dose when eligible

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Important Updates

Review other articles in this issue regarding important updates.