You will need to be up-to-date on all recommended vaccines before you start school. Your school may require certain vaccines prior to enrollment. Immunization requirements are often dictated by state laws, which is why school requirements may vary.
- Find out what vaccines your school requires, usually listed on the health enrollment/health history form. Also find out where you need to submit proof of vaccination is submitted. If your school has a student health center, the website may have additional information, as well.
- Contact your primary care provider (PCP) to see if you are up to date on the vaccines that your school requires and request a copy of your vaccine record (make two copies of your vaccine record: one to have for your personal records and a copy for your family to have). Most schools want you to upload a copy of your vaccine record to your health portal, or have your PCP sign the health form that includes vaccination information, rather than accepting a travel vaccination card.
- Make an appointment with your PCP to get any vaccines still needed months before the school year begins to give you enough time to receive vaccines you may need but have not yet received. At some schools, required immunizations can be obtained from the student health center (usually for a fee or charge submitted to your health insurance plan), but in most cases, you will need to be fully vaccinated before you arrive on campus or shortly after (based on your school’s policy) to avoid having a stop placed on your registration for students who are not in compliance.
- Having trouble obtaining your immunization records? More information about locating proof of vaccination can be found here: How to locate your vaccination records.
- Submit your health form and immunization record by the deadline.
- You may be granted an exemption from your school’s immunization requirements due to medical reasons. Others may give an exemption for philosophical or religious beliefs. Check with your school to see if this is an option for you and the requirements for requesting an exemption.
Founded in 1973, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the burden, causes, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases across the lifespan. Learn more at: www.nfid.org.