School Vaccination Requirements

"All kids going to public, private and religious schools, pre-K and day care,
must get all required vaccinations unless they have a valid medical exemption”
"I assure you, vaccines are safe and effective. I’m a father. My kids are vaccinated."
- Howard A. Zucker, M.D., J.D., Commissioner of Health

Children attending day care and pre-K through 12thgrade in New York State must receive all required doses of vaccines on the recommended schedule in order to attend or remain in school. This is true unless they have a valid medical exemption to immunization. This includes all public, private, and religious schools. A medical exemption is allowed when a child has a medical condition that prevents them from receiving a vaccine. There are no nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine requirements in NYS.

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) establishes the recommended vaccine schedule and determines when vaccines are due.

Important school immunization information

Within 14 days of the first day of school or day care, parents must:

  • Show proof of their child's up-to-date vaccinations, OR
  • Provide a valid medical exemption from vaccination.

In order to attend or remain in school or day care, children who are unvaccinated or overdue must receive at least the first dose of all required vaccines within the first 14 days. They also must plan to receive all follow-up doses at the ages and intervals (time between doses) listed in the recommended vaccination schedule.

Vaccines required for day care, pre-K, and school attendance

  • Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine (DTaP or Tdap)
  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR)
  • Polio vaccine
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine

Additional vaccines required for middle school and high school

  • Tdap vaccine for Grades 6-12
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) for Grades 7-12
    • Students in Grade 12 need an additional booster dose of MenACWY on or after their 16th birthday

Additional vaccines required for day care and pre-K

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (HiB)
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (PCV)

Common vaccine questions

  • Is it safe for my child to have more than one shot at a time? Yes! Scientific data show that getting multiple vaccines at the same time is safe. It also means fewer doctor's office visits which can be less stressful for your child.
  • How do I know vaccines are safe? The U.S. has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history, and vaccine safety systems to ensure that vaccines are as safe as possible.
  • Why are so many doses needed for each vaccine? Depending on the vaccine, your child will need more than one dose to build high enough immunity to prevent disease or to boost immunity that fades over time. Every dose is important because each protects against infectious diseases that can be especially serious for infants and children.
  • Is it more natural for my child to get the disease than a vaccine? Some diseases give your child future protection from that disease, but they also can make your child very sick, and they could spread it to other loved ones. Vaccines protect your child against future infections without making them sick.

Additional Information

Medical Exemptions