Immunizations

School & Day Care Minimum Immunization Requirements

Documentary proof shall be provided of adequate age appropriate immunization with the prescribed number of doses of vaccine indicated below for attendance at a public or private elementary, middle or secondary school, child care center, nursery school, family day care home or developmental center. Vaccines must be administered in accordance with the harmonized schedule of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Academy of Family Physicians and must be administered within spacing and age requirements (available at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/Epidemiology/Immunization/acip.htm).

Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis (DTaP, DTP, or Tdap). A minimum of 4 doses. A child must have at least one dose of DTaP or DTP vaccine on or after the fourth birthday. DT (Diphtheria, Tetanus) vaccine is required for children who are medically exempt from the pertussis containing vaccine (DTaP or DTP). Adult Td is required for children 7 years of age and older who do not meet the minimum requirements for tetanus and diphtheria. Effective July 1, 2006, a booster dose of Tdap vaccine is required for all children entering the 6th grade, if at least five years have passed since the last dose of tetanus-containing vaccine. 

Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) Vaccine. This vaccine is required ONLY for children up to 60 months of age. A primary series consists of either 2 or 3 doses (depending on the manufacturer). However, the child’s current age and not the number of prior doses received govern the number of doses required. Unvaccinated children between the ages of 15 and 60 months are only required to have one dose of vaccine.

Hepatitis B Vaccine. A complete series of 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine is required for all children. However, the FDA has approved a 2-dose schedule ONLY for adolescents 11-15 years of age AND ONLY when the Merck Brand (RECOMBIVAX HB) Adult Formulation Hepatitis B Vaccine is used. If the 2-dose schedule is used for adolescents 11-15 years of age it must be clearly documented on the school form.

Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV). Effective October 1, 2008, a complete series of 3 doses of HPV vaccine is required for females. The first dose shall be administered before the child enters the 6th grade. After reviewing educational materials approved by the Board of Health, the parent or guardian, at the parent’s or guardian’s sole discretion, may elect for the child not to receive the HPV vaccine.

Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) Vaccine. A minimum of 2 measles, 2 mumps, and 1 rubella. (Most children receive 2 doses of each because the vaccine usually administered is the combination vaccine MMR). First dose must be administered at age 12 months or older. Second dose of vaccine must be administered prior to entering kindergarten but can be administered at any time after the minimum interval between dose 1 and dose 2.

Pneumococcal (PCV) Vaccine. This vaccine is required ONLY for children less than two years of age. Two to four doses, dependent on age at first dose, of pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine are required.

Polio Vaccine. A minimum of 4 doses of polio vaccine. One dose must be administered on or after the fourth birthday.

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine. All susceptible children born on and after January 1, 1997, shall be required to have one dose of chickenpox vaccine administered at age 12 months or older. Effective March 3, 2010, a second dose must be administered prior to entering kindergarten but can be administered at any time after the minimum interval between dose 1 and dose 2.

For further information, please call the Division of Immunization at 1-800-568-1929 (in state only) or 804-864-8055. 

Rev. 3/10

Vaccine Safety: The Facts

Why vaccinate? Vaccines save lives and protect against the spread of disease. If you decide not to immunize your child, you put your child at risk. Your child could catch a disease that is dangerous or deadly. Getting vaccinated is much better than getting the disease.

Your pediatrician knows that you care about your child’s health and safety. That’s why you need to get all the scientific facts from a medical professional you can trust before making any decisions based on stories you may have seen or heard on TV, the Internet, or from other parents. Your pediatrician cares about your child too and wants you to know that…

Vaccines work. They have kept children healthy and have saved millions of lives for more than 50 years. Most childhood vaccines are 90% to 99% effective in preventing disease. And if a vaccinated child does get the disease, the symptoms are usually less serious than in a child who hasn’t been vaccinated. There may be mild side effects, like swelling where the shot was given, but they do not last long. And it is rare for side effects to be serious.

Vaccines are safe. All vaccines must be tested by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA will not let a vaccine be given unless it has been proven to be safe and to work well in children. The data get reviewed again by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians before a vaccine is officially recommended to be given to children. Also, the FDA monitors where and how vaccines are made. The places where vaccines are made must be licensed. They are regularly inspected and each vaccine lot is safety-tested.

Vaccines are necessary. Your pediatrician believes that your children should receive all recommended childhood vaccines. In the United States vaccines have protected children and continue to protect children from many diseases. However, in many parts of the world many vaccine-preventable diseases are still common. Since diseases may be brought into the United States by Americans who travel abroad or from people visiting areas with current disease outbreaks it’s important that your children are vaccinated.

Also, children with certain health problems may not be able to get some vaccines or may need to get them later. Since each child is different, your child’s doctor will know what is best for your child. You should get information about each vaccine at the doctor’s office. Ask your child’s doctor if you don’t understand what you’ve read.

Copyright © 2008 American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved. (Page 1 of 2)

Vaccine Safety: The Facts

Vaccines are studied. To make sure the vaccine continues to be safe, the FDA and the CDC created the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). All doctors must report serious side effects of vaccines to VAERS so they can be studied. Parents can also file reports with VAERS. For more information about VAERS, visit www.vaers.hhs.gov or call the toll-free VAERS information line at 800/822-7967.

Based on VAERS reports, vaccine safety professionals continuously look for any problem with a vaccine, study the problem, and decide what to do. And if there is a problem, changes are made as soon as possible. For example,

If a vaccine is no longer safe, it is no longer given.

If there are new side effects, safety alerts are sent out to your health care providers.

Another way the CDC checks vaccine safety is by studying information about side effects collected from 8 large insurance companies. The Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) helps identify if there are any serious problems or safety issues from the records of thousands of children.

In the rare case that a child has serious side effects to a vaccine, parents can contact the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) at 800/338-2382 or www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation. This federal program was created to help pay for the care of people who have been harmed.

View PDF – Age-Interval table 9/09