Promoting science to protect California from preventable diseases
New California child care and school immunization regulations went into effect on July 1st, 2019. A summary of some of the changes can be found below. For the most up to date resources go to ShotsForSchool.org
Students entering Transitional Kindergarten (TK)/Kindergarten, advancing into 7th grade, OR who are new admissions/transfers will need proof of 2 (rather than 1) doses of chickenpox vaccine before starting the 2019-2020 school year and all future school years.
Act now to ensure your adolescent patients are protected against vaccine preventable diseases and are ready for school entry next fall by taking the following steps:
- Make reminder and recall phone calls and send notices NOW to your patients who have not yet received two doses of chickenpox vaccine, or who are missing other required vaccines.
- Order enough chickenpox vaccine to immunize your patients affected by the new law. Before ordering, ensure you have adequate storage in your vaccine refrigerator for your orders.
- Immunize with chickenpox vaccine NOW and at every opportunity, including sports physicals and visits for mild illness or injury, and give other recommended immunizations: Tdap, meningococcal conjugate, HPV, influenza, and any catch-up doses of MMR and hepatitis B.
- Provide your patients and their schools with clear and accurate documentation of varicella immunization. If you use the California Immunization Registry, consider printing out a copy of the ‘Blue Card’ after chickenpox vaccine has been given for the student to take to school.
- Post downloadable electronic banners on your practice’s website and in electronic newsletters to help notify your patients.
Visit ShotsForSchool.org for more preteen vaccination resources and more information on the new school requirements.
Starting July 1, 2019, a parent or guardian must submit a signed, written statement from a physician (MD or DO) licensed in California which states:
- The specific nature of the physical condition or medical circumstance of the child for which a licensed physician does not recommend immunization.
- Each specific required vaccine that is being exempted.
- Whether the medical exemption is permanent or temporary.
- If the exemption is temporary, an expiration date no more than 12 calendar months from the date of signing.
The California Immunization Coalition in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, California and the California Academy of Family Physicians have developed an optional form for use in documenting a medical exemption. Licensed physicians (MD, DO) may complete this form or provide a letter containing the same information to the parent/guardian.
For more information and a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the new regulations, go to www.shotsforschool.org