School and Pre-Kindergarten (Child Care) Immunization Information
When groups of children come together, the opportunity for disease to spread is increased. School and childcare staff play an important role in assuring safe and healthy futures for California youth by ensuring that children in attendance are as fully immunized as possible.
Under the California Health and Safety Code, Sections 120325-120375:children in California are required to receive certain immunizations in order to attend public and private elementary and secondary schools, child care centers, family day care homes, nursery schools, day nurseries and developmental centers. Schools, and pre-kindergarten facilities are required to enforce immunization requirements, maintain immunization records of all children enrolled, and submit reports to their local health departments.
California school immunization regulations are described in California Code of Regulations Title 17, Division 1, Chapter 4.
Immunization Requirements for Child Care and School (K-12)
For information about the required number of doses and ages that vaccines must be given, review the 2019 Guide to Immunizations Required for Child Care | Spanish and the 2019 Guide to Immunizations Required for TK/K-12 | Spanish
The Shots for School website has information about the immunizations required for school and child care entry in California. This website is maintained by the California Department of Public Health Immunization Branch. Please visit this website often, as school and pre-kindergarten staff can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions and Updated Forms, Guides and Materials.
The State provides annual reports of the immunization rates at child care centers and schools. You may find this information for a specific school at:
- How Well-Vaccinated Is Your Child’s Child Care/Preschool Facility?
- How Well-Vaccinated Is Your Child’s Kindergarten?
- How Well-Vaccinated Is Your Child’s 7th Grade?
Parents must present their child’s Immunization Record to school and child care providers as proof of immunization. Child care and school staff should copy the full date of each shot onto the California Pre-Kindergarten and School Immunization Record, also known as Blue Card (BC). Printing out the BC on blue colored paper is not required. To order hard copies of the BC and other immunization materials click here. It is the responsibility of school and child care providers to follow up regularly until all shots have been completed and each child is up-to-date.
Since January 1, 2016, as per Senate Bill 277 (SB277), immunization exemptions based on personal beliefs for children in child care and public and private schools has not been permitted . Personal belief exemptions submitted before January 1, 2016 remain valid until a pupil reaches kindergarten or 7th grade.
San Francisco Immunization Programs for Children
Tuberculosis Screening Requirements for San Francisco Schools
Guidelines for tuberculosis screening requirements in California are determined by each County. The San Francisco Department of Public Health strongly recommends a medical provider’s risk assessment for TB infection, as the universal screening requirement for school entry. For more information, review the San Francisco Policy for Tuberculosis Screening Requirement at Preschool and TK/k-12 School Entry.