Information for Providers
What immunizations are required for my patients to attend school?
To protect the public’s health, many, but not all, recommended childhood vaccines are also required by California law and regulations in order to attend school. The immunizations currently required for pupils in California include:
Immunization required for 7th grade:
- Tdap (pertussis booster)
Immunizations required to enter Kindergarten*:
- Hepatitis B
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
*California Kindergarten Immunization Requirements
California law (H&S Code, Sections 120325-120375; CCR 6000-6075) requires documentation of receipt of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine), IPV (poliovirus vaccine), MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine), varicella, and hepatitis B vaccines prior to admission to kindergarten. California kindergarten immunization requirements also affect all students being admitted to the newly implemented, two-year transitional kindergarten program. Students are first admitted to this two-year transitional kindergarten program prior to their 5th birthday. Immunizing these children at age 4 years is consistent with recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for routine immunization with DTaP, IPV, MMR, and varicella vaccine at 4-6 years. Some health care providers have been hesitant to give these immunizations prior to age 5 years; however, for students attending transitional kindergarten, these immunizations should be given, prior to entry to transitional kindergarten. By law, students will not be admitted to kindergarten without showing evidence of having received these immunizations before the first day of school. Please review this information with your staff so that they are aware of the both the ACIP recommendations and school immunization requirements and accommodate immunization appointments. For more information on Transitional Kindergarten in California, see: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/gs/em/kinderfaq.asp
- Medical and Personal Belief Exemptions to Required Immunizations
- Educational Tools about Vaccines for Parents and Providers
What immunizations are recommended for my patients?
Pediatric immunization recommendations in the United States are developed by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), typically in coordination with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).
What can I do to help my patients meet the 7th Grade Tdap Requirement?
As soon as possible:
- Issue recalls and reminders to your patients who have not yet received Tdap.
- Remember Td does NOT meet the new requirement! Tdap can be given at any time after the last dose of Td.
- Immunize your patients who have not yet received Tdap yet to protect them against the ongoing risk of pertussis and also meet the new requirement.
- Immunize at every opportunity, including appointments for mild illness or injury.
- Document your Tdap immunization clearly in the paper or electronic records that your patients will share with school staff.
- The California Immunization Registry (CAIR) provides rapid, clear and simple documentation of Tdap immunization, saving time and effort for the many California providers and schools who use CAIR. Providers and health plans who wish to begin using CAIR may contact the CAIR Help Desk at 800-578-7889 or www.cairweb.org.
- Combine Tdap immunization with other recommended care.
- CDC, AAP and the Society for Adolescent Medicine recommend that all 11- to 12-year olds get a preteen check-up to provide all recommended immunizations, other preventive care and anticipatory guidance.
Provider Tool Kit for the 7th Grade Tdap Requirement:
A) Overview for Providers
- FAQs for Providers and Schools
- Provider Readiness Checklist
- Email Notice for California Providers
- Archived Webinars for Providers
B) Implementation Tools
- Keep it Clear for Schools – Options for Clear Tdap Documentation
- “Is It Tdap Or DTaP Vaccine?” Job Aid
C) Patient Education
- Immunization Reminder postcard, 4-up
- Educational Flyer
English | Spanish | Chinese | Korean |Vietnamese
- Template letter for recall of patients who have not received Tdap yet
- Script for Audio Recording (Provider to Patients)
- Health Plan Newsletter Blurb
Vaccines For Children (VFC)
The California VFC Program is a federally-funded and state-operated program designed to help raise childhood immunization levels by providing no-cost vaccines to enrolled physicians caring for eligible children.
California Department of Public Health (CDPH)