Back to School Immunizations

(Tompkins County, NY – August 14, 2019) – September will be here before we know it, and that means back to school! School supplies, new clothes, and immunizations! School immunizations are important. They protect children from disease and from exposing those who are vulnerable and cannot be immunized.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) developed a scientifically researched immunization schedule that indicates the spacing between doses of vaccines. Delayed vaccination schedules are not permitted under these guidelines. New York State (NYS) follows these national guidelines for vaccine spacing. A full schedule can be found here:

In New York, there are steps to take to be ready for starting school:

  • Proof of immunization must be provided within 14 calendar days after the first day of school instruction in September.

  • The student must have at least 1 dose of all age-appropriate required immunizations.

  • Within 30 days of the first day of attendance, students must have age-appropriate appointments scheduled for the next follow-up doses to complete the immunizations series in accordance with the CDC catch-up schedule.

  • Here is the schedule for immunizations required to attend school is NYS:

  • If you have any questions about your child’s immunizations, please contact your health care practitioner or the Health Department, 607-274-6604.

In June 2019, a new law was passed that removed religious exemption from school immunizations. Students may receive a medical exemption from vaccination if written by a physician (not a Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant) licensed to practice medicine in New York State. The medical exemption needs to be submitted yearly and address specific vaccines and medical conditions.

For more information about immunizations:

If you have any questions about your child’s immunizations, please contact your health care practitioner or the Tompkins County Health Department, 607-274-6604.

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