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Immunizations for School Entrance/Attendance

New York State Public Health Law, Section 2164, requires all school children to be adequately immunized. Immunization records are due when the child starts school. They must be in the nurse’s office within 14 days of school entry for a child living in New York State or within 30 days of entry for a child coming from outside New York State.
 

Immunization Requirements

Children in a prekindergarten setting should be age-appropriately immunized. The number of doses depends on the schedule recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Click on the link below to view the New York State immunization requirements for the 2021-2022 school year:

For more information, please view our answers to frequently asked questions below or visit the NYS Department of Health's webpage on School Vaccination Requirements.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q
What is the deadline for demonstrating compliance with school vaccination requirements?
A
Immunization records must be received within 14 days from the first day of school (by September 23rd). Students entering the district from outside of New York State, or the country, will have up to 30 days (October 8th) to provide immunization records. Otherwise, students will be excluded from attending school after the stated deadline. 
Q
Are children allowed to follow a delayed vaccination schedule for required vaccines?
A
No. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) catch-up immunization schedule must be used. Delayed vaccination schedules are not permitted.
Q
Do vaccination requirements apply to students aged 18 and older?
A
No. The mandatory vaccination law only applies to a child, which Public Health Law defines as a person between the ages of two months and 18 years. Once a student reaches the age of 18, he/she is no longer required to show proof of immunization.
Q
Do the immunization requirements for school apply to prekindergarten?
A
Yes. The immunization requirements apply to children enrolling in and attending prekindergarten.
Q
Is COVID-19 vaccine required for NYS school attendance?
A
No. At this time, NYS is not requiring COVID-19 vaccine for children attending public, private or parochial child care, nursery school, prekindergarten or K-12 in NYS.
Q
Are there any exceptions to these immunization requirements?
A
New York State only recognizes medical exemptions to school immunization requirements.
Q
If a parent chooses not to vaccinate his/her child, what are the options for the child’s education in New York?
A
Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children, and whose children do not have a valid medical exemption, still must ensure that children of compulsory school age are educated and, thus, would need to provide home instruction (“homeschooling”) for those children. 
Q
Can a homeschooled student attend State tests (e.g. 3-8 State assessments, Regents examinations) held at the school if he/she is not immunized?
A
No. Only those students who have been vaccinated consistent with Public Health Law or have a valid medical exemption will be allowed to take such examinations at the school.
Q
Can students who are not immunized and do not have a valid medical exemption be transported using school transportation with other students?
A
No. Students who have not been immunized consistent with the requirements of Public Health Law and do not have a valid medical exemption may not be transported on a school bus or vehicle with other students.
Q
Do vaccination requirements apply to students who are receiving homebound instruction, commonly referred to as home/hospital-instruction (not to be confused with homeschooled students)?
A
Yes. Homebound instruction is a form of tutorial services, provided to public or nonpublic students, by the public school district of residence. These services are provided to students who are unable to attend their public or nonpublic school because of physical, mental, or emotional illness or injury. 
Q
Do vaccination requirements apply to students who receive special education services?
A
Yes. Vaccination requirements apply to students who receive special education services unless they have a valid medical exemption. The United States Department of Education (“USDE”) has issued guidance to assist schools in ensuring that students with disabilities under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) who are medically unable to receive vaccines due to a disability are not discriminated against on the basis of disability.
Q
My child receives educational services from a public, private or parochial school off school grounds. Do they need to be vaccinated?
A
If a student is enrolled in the school, regardless of where they receive educational services, they will need to comply with the vaccination requirements for schools.
Q
What is a medical exemption?
A
A medical exemption is given when a valid contraindication to a vaccination exists. A student may submit a completed medical exemption form issued by NYSDOH certifying that an immunization may be detrimental to the child’s health. Completed forms must be signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in NYS and-
  • specify which immunizations may be medically contraindicated;
  • contain sufficient information to determine if a medical contraindication to a specific immunization exists; and
  • specify the length of time the immunization is medically contraindicated.
Additional information in support of the medical exemption may be requested. The NYSDOH medical exemption form can be accessed here: health.ny.gov/forms/doh-5077.pdf
Q
Do medical exemptions need to be reassessed for all students with medical exemptions or just new students enrolling in school?
A
Medical exemptions must be reissued annually. Annual reissuing of medical exemptions allows a physician to reevaluate the need for an exemption based on a student's current health status.
Q
What is the timeline for review of a medical exemption?
A
The law does not contain a timeline. The district may take up to 10 school days for active review of a medical exemption application, during which time the student is entitled to attend school until the review process is complete. However, if the exemption necessitates a lengthier review additional time will be taken.

For more information, please visit the NYS Department of Health's webpage on School Vaccination Requirements.