Immunization Requirements for Students
New immunization rules go into effect for the 2020-21 school year. However, the Department of Health has updated its recommendation that proof of compliance is necessary only when students are attending school in-person. Proof of compliance isn’t required during Continuous Learning or 100% Online Learning.
Changes to State Immunization Rules for Schools and Child Cares Effective for the 2020-21 School Year
The State Board of Health (SBOH) has approved changes to Chapter 246-105 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) concerning school and child care immunization policy. These rules apply to all public and private schools and licensed child care centers in Washington State.
The update to Chapter 246-105 WAC has three major focuses:
- It now requires medically verified immunization records for school and child care entry.
- It clarifies conditional status in regards to school and child care immunization requirements and implementation.
- It changes the Tdap immunization requirement to 7th through 12th grades.
Medically Verified Records
Starting on August 1, 2020, the revised rule requires medically verified immunization records for school and child care entry. Medically verified record includes one or more of the following:
- A completed Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) signed by a health care provider. Find the CIS form by visiting https://www.doh.wa.gov/SCCI and clicking on “Certificate of Immunization Status.”
- A CIS filled out by you or another parent/guardian with medical records attached.
- A CIS printed by a health care provider or school from the Washington State Immunization Information System.
- A CIS printed from MyIR which is a free Department of Health online tool that allows families to view and print their official immunization records themselves. Go to https://wa.myir.net/register to begin the sign-up process.
Starting on August 1, 2020, the revised rule grants children conditional status entry into school or child care who are making progress towards completing their immunization requirements.
If additional immunizations are needed after receiving all immunizations they are eligible to receive before starting school, children may start school in conditional status and remain until the next dose becomes due. Children will then have 30 calendar days to turn in updated records showing they received the missing dose. If additional doses are due, conditional status continues until all required immunizations are complete. If the 30 days expire without updated records, the child must be excluded from further attendance.
Change to Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine Requirement for grades 6-12
Starting on August 1, 2020, the requirement for a Tdap dose changes from grade 6-12 to grade 7-12. All students entering 7th through 12th grades must have one booster dose of Tdap vaccine. In the 2020-2021 school year, all students in 7th grade must have received their Tdap dose on or after age 10 years. Students in 8th through 12th grades must have received their Tdap dose on or after age 7 years.
Vaccinations required by Washington state law for school attendance
Washington state law requires school age children to receive specific immunizations in order to attend school. Bainbridge Island School District works with the Washington State Department of Health to comply with state laws on required vaccinations. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/348-295-SchoolImmReqforParents2020-2021.pdf
Certificate of Exemptions (COE) forms
If you are requesting an exemption from one or more of the immunization requirements, you must provide the school a completed certificate of exemption (COE) form on file in the school office. Parents/guardians must complete the form and turn it in to the school before the student can start school.
In May 2019, Governor Inslee signed House Bill 1638, which removes the personal and philosophical option to exempt children from the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine required for school and child care attendance. The new law will take effect on July 28, 2019. Learn more about the new requirements here:
Who Is Affected?
This law will only affect those students who have a personal or philosophical exemption to the MMR vaccine. Students with medical or religious exemptions are not affected by the new law.
What Is the Requirement?
One dose of MMR is required for all children age 1 year and older in child care or preschool. Two doses of MMR vaccine are required for all students in kindergarten through 12th grade. A minimum of 28 days must separate the two doses of MMR vaccine, which means someone needing both MMR doses will need one dose given as soon as possible, followed by another appointment scheduled a month from the first MMR dose. Children catching up with the MMR immunization schedule are considered to be in conditional status until 30 days after the second dose of the MMR vaccine comes due.
What Do I Need To Do?
- All parents with personal or philosophical exemptions for MMR vaccine for their child should be notified they are required to provide the dates of MMR vaccination by the time the school year starts.
- Per state law, any student not in compliance with immunization requirements should be excluded from school attendance, until they can show satisfactory progress towards immunization requirements.
For more information:
Washington State Department of Health has more information about required vaccinations. To read the state law, click here: https://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=28A.210.080