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Immunization Toolkit for Schools

School Immunization Resources

Welcome to the School Immunization Toolkit!

Schools play a vital role in ensuring children receive the vaccines they need to live long healthy lives.  Public Health Law Section 2164(7)(a), requires that schools ensure students meet these requirements for school entry.  Schools must also complete an annual immunization survey online and report the immunization status of all students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12.  This toolkit links schools with information and resources to assist you in meeting the school immunization requirements that protect your students and broader school community.

Within this toolkit you will find:

  • NYS Immunization requirements for school enrollment/attendance.
  • Immunization Schedules.
  • Immunization-Related Medical Exemptions for School-Aged Children.
  • How to enroll in the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS).
  • NYS Public Health Law Section 2164 Requirements on Schools.
  • Annual School Survey Requirements.
  • Guides, Fact Sheets, Posters, and Frequently Asked Questions on Influenza, Meningococcal, and HPV.
  • Pneumococcal Vaccine Requirements.

Your local health department immunization staff are your go-to local resource regarding school vaccination requirements and related questions.  For a directory of local health departments, visit NYSACHO Member Directory. For questions regarding child care programs, schools and post-secondary institutions contact the NYSDOH Bureau of Immunization’s School Assessment and Compliance Unit at phone: 518-474-1944, email: osas@health.ny.gov, or refer to the New York State Department of Health, the Immunization Action Coalition and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York State Immunization Requirements for School Entrance/Attendance

Students are required to meet minimum vacation requirements in order to attend school in New York State.  Click on the link below to view the current immunization requirements for school entrance/attendance.

Immunization Requirements for School Entrance/Attendance for the 2023-24 school year

Source: New York State Department of Health

Immunization Schedules

Routine vaccines help protect children and adolescents from 16 serious diseases. These parent-friendly schedules outline what vaccines are recommended at which ages.

Required Vaccines

Public Health Law

Public Health Law Section 2164(7)(a) requires that: “No principal, teacher, owner or person in charge of a school shall permit any child to be admitted to such school, or to attend such school, in excess of fourteen days, without the certificate provided for in subdivision five of this section or some other acceptable evidence of the child’s immunization against poliomyelitis, mumps, measles, diphtheria, rubella, varicella, hepatitis B, tetanus and pertussis and, where applicable, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), meningococcal disease and pneumococcal disease; provided, however, such fourteen day period may be extended to not more than thirty days for an individual student by the appropriate principal, teacher, owner or other person in charge where such student is transferring from out-of-state or from another country and can show a good faith effort to get the necessary certification or other evidence of immunization.”

NYS Public Health Law Section 613 requires licensed and registered day-care programs and schools to post information about the flu and flu vaccine for parents. It’s easy to comply. Just post the NYSDOH’s “Fight Flu at Home and School” publication in your school or facility from early fall through May where it can be easily seen by parents and caregivers.

NYSIIS and Health Commerce System (HCS)

NYSIIS is the acronym for the New York State Immunization Information System. NYSIIS is a free, web-based statewide immunization information system, also known as a registry, which maintains computerized immunization data of persons of all ages in a confidential and secure manner.

Schools are authorized to have read-only access for student look up. School users cannot enter or edit data in NYSIIS. However, school based-health centers administering immunizations are considered health care providers and have full access to the system.

Schools will need a Health Commerce System (HCS) account in order to access the New York State Immunization Information System. Many schools already have an HCS account for participation in the Online School Assessment Survey (OSAS).

Schools interested in obtaining an HCS account should send an email to osas@health.ny.gov requesting instructions regarding the HCS account process, or call the Bureau of Immunization, School Unit at (518) 474-1944.

Medical Exemptions

Effective June 13, 2019, PHL § 2164 only allows for medical exemptions to school immunization requirements. New York law does not recognize non-medical exemptions. Medical exemptions are defined in PHL § 2164 as: Medical Exemption. If a physician licensed to practice medicine in New York State certifies that an immunization is detrimental to a child’s health, the requirement for that immunization is waived until such immunization is no longer detrimental to the child’s health.

School Immunization Survey

Schools are required to submit the annual mandated immunization survey online. The submission of the immunization status of children attending school in the State of New York is mandated by Public Health Law Section 2164. The survey is housed on the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Health Commerce System(HCS). To access the online survey, school staff members must obtain HCS accounts.

Influenza

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Additional Resources

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NYSACHO is incorporated as a not-for-profit, non-partisan charitable organization with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.
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