Immunization Information for Schools and Child Care Workers

Students and child care workers are required to be vaccinated against certain diseases in Rhode Island. These requirements are based on recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and healthcare providers in Rhode Island.

More information about these diseases is available online.

Required immunizations for students

Requirements for students entering pre-kindergarten, child care, or day care centers

  • 4 doses of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccine
  • 1 dose of Flu vaccine each year *apply to children in licensed DCYF facilities only
  • 2 doses of Hepatitis A vaccine *apply to children in licensed DCYF facilities only
  • 3 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine
  • 3 doses of Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) vaccine
  • 1 dose of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine
  • 4 doses of Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (not routinely given to healthy children 5 years of age and older)
  • 3 doses of Polio vaccine
  • 1 dose of Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

Requirements for students entering kindergarten

A student entering kindergarten must have met the pre-kindergarten immunization requirements, plus:

  • 1 dose of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccine
  • 1 dose of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine
  • 1 dose of Polio vaccine
  • 1 dose of Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

Requirements for students entering 7th grade

A student entering 7th grade must have met the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten immunization requirements, plus:

  • 1 dose of HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine
  • 1 dose of Meningococcal Conjugate (MCV4) vaccine
  • 1 dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccine

Requirements for students entering 8th grade

A student entering 8th grade must have met the 7th grade immunization requirements, plus:

  • 2 doses of HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine

Requirements for students entering 9th grade (2017-2018 school year)

A student entering 9th grade must have met the 8th grade immunization requirements, plus:

  • 3 doses of HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine
  • *Note: Per current ACIP recommendations, 2 doses of HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine (if series is started at age 14 or younger)

Requirement for students entering 12th grade

A student entering 12th grade must have met the 9th grade immunization requirements, plus:

  • 1 dose of Meningococcal Conjugate (MCV4) vaccine - booster dose

Required immunizations for child care workers

  • 1 dose of Flu vaccine every year
  • 2 doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine
  • 1 dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccine
  • 2 doses of Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

Exemptions

Students and children in child care (day care) and pre-kindergarten facilities can be exempted from required immunizations for religious, medical, or temporary reasons. A medical exemption certificate must be signed by a medical provider.

Child care workers can be exempted from required immunizations for medical reasons. A medical exemption certificate must be signed by a medical provider.

Other ways to meet the immunization requirements

  • Students and child care workers do not need to get the immunizations listed above if they have already received them. This can be demonstrated with an immunization record, a medical passport, or any other official record that shows the month, day, and year of the vaccinations.
  • Students and child care workers do not need to get the immunizations listed above if they cannot receive them for medical reasons. A healthcare provider can provide paperwork stating that someone cannot be vaccinated against a particular disease for medical reasons.
  • Child care workers do not need to get varicella (chickenpox) vaccine if they had varicella (chickenpox or shingles) in the past. This can be demonstrated with a signed statement from a licensed healthcare provider acting within his/her scope of practice (physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner).
  • If a child care worker is already immune to a disease, vaccination against that disease is not required. Immunity must be demonstrated with laboratory evidence (also called a titer).
  • Child care workers born before 1957 are not required to get MMR vaccine.
  • Child care workers born before 1980 are not required to get varicella (chickenpox) vaccine.

HPV vaccination

A 3-dose HPV immunization requirement is being phased in. For fall 2015, 1 dose will be required for 7th graders. For fall 2016, one dose will be required for 7th graders and 2 doses will be required for 8th graders. For fall 2017, 1 dose will be required for 7th graders, 2 doses will be required for 8th graders, and 3 doses will be required for 9th graders.

Note: No student should be excluded from school if he/she is not vaccinated against HPV.

Per current ACIP recommendations, adolescents 9 - 14 years of age need 2 doses of HPV vaccine for series completion, and adolescents 15 - 26 years of age need 3 doses for series completion.

Impact on schools: School nurses will only have to assess for 2 doses of vaccine rather than 3 doses, for 9th graders who start the series before age 15.