Accountability Health Safety

Children Are Currently Required to Take Many Vaccines

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Every state has vaccine requirements for children entering school. Parents do not protest against these vaccines. What makes the coronavirus vaccine different from the many other required vaccines?

Here are the vaccine requirements for children entering school in Tennessee:

The Tennessee Department of Health is responsible for immunization requirements for those who attend child care, pre-school, school and college. The current immunization requirements are in the Tennessee Department of Health Rules.

The Official Immunization Certificate is available in local health departments through the Tennessee Immunization Information System (TennIIS).

Detailed guidance for healthcare providers on the rules and certificate is available at the TennIIS website. Tennessee healthcare providers who give vaccines can register as authorized users and download the form through TennIIS.

The state’s immunization schedule follows the current schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

A brief summary of the required immunizations for child care facilities and schools is listed below.

Children enrolling in child care facilities, pre-school, pre-Kindergarten
Infants entering child care facilities must be up to date at the time of enrollment and are required to provide an updated certificate after completing all of the required vaccines due no later than 18 months of age.

  • Poliomyelitis (IPV or OPV)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) – age younger than 5 years only
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) – age younger than 5 years only
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella – 1 dose of each, normally given together as MMR
  • Varicella – 1 dose or credible history of disease
Required Immunizations

Children enrolling in Kindergarten

  • Hepatitis B (HBV)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTaP, or DT if appropriate)
  • Poliomyelitis (IPV or OPV) – final dose on or after the 4th birthday
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella – 2 doses of each, usually given together as MMR
  • Varicella – 2 doses or credible history of disease
  • Hepatitis A – total of 2 doses, spaced at least 6 – 18 months apart

All children entering 7th grade (including currently enrolled students)

Children who are new enrollees in a TN school in grades other than Kindergarten

  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTaP, or DT if appropriate)
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (2 doses of each, normally given together as MMR)
  • Poliomyelitis (IPV or OPV) – final dose on or after the 4th birthday now required
  • Varicella (2 doses or credible history of disease) – previously only one dose was required
  • Hepatitis B (HBV) – previously only for Kindergarten, 7th grade entry
  • New students entering grades other than 7th grade are not required to have Tdap

Full-time Tennessee college students

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (2 doses of each, normally given together as MMR): if born on or after January 1, 1957 only.
  • Varicella (2 doses or credible history of disease): if born on or after January 1, 1980 only.
  • Hepatitis B (HBV) – only for health science students expected to have patient contact (before patient contact begins).
  • Meningococcal – At a minimum of 1 dose given at 16 years of age or greater if enrolling in public institution for the first time and under 22 years of age and living in on-campus housing; private institutions set their own requirements for this vaccine.

Children with medical or religious exemption to requirements

Medical – Physician (MD, DO) or department Public Health Nurse authorized to indicate specific vaccines medically exempted (because of risk of harm) on the new form. Other vaccines remain required. The medical reason for the exemption does not need to be provided.

Religious – This exemption requires a signed statement by the parent/guardian that vaccination conflicts with their religious tenets or practices. If the child needs documentation of a health examination for the school, it must be noted by the healthcare provider on the immunization certificate. In that case, the provider should check the box that the parent has sought a religious exemption to explain why immunization information is absent or incomplete.

These are the required vaccines in New York State:

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)

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